Life just isn’t the same without them.
You find yourself missing them, wanting to pick up the phone and tell them you miss them, pining for the good times.
So now you want to know:
How to get your ex back.
But how can you do this?
For starters, picking up the phone isn’t going to work. Instead, you need to change some things in your life so that getting back with your ex will feel like a fresh start for you and for him/her.
It’s frustrating, and it can be difficult to create some change in your life. But it’s essential if you want to get your ex back.
Before we get into the 11 key steps for you to take to get back together with your ex, go over these signs that signal that you will be able to get your ex back.
3 clear signs you can get back with your ex
Everything is nuanced in relationships, even breakups. Not all relationships are completely irreparable.
In fact, breakups might just be what you needed to grow into the people that are better suited for each other.
So, how do you know if your relationship is worth the second chance?
If, even after all that time and space, you still feel something for each other, consider sitting down with them and discussing how your relationship could move forward.
However, your feelings alone shouldn’t dictate whether or not you should get back with your ex.
In order to cultivate real, healthy relationships, both parties need to offer stability, respect, openness, and kindness; love alone isn’t going to help the relationship survive the second time around.
Some exes have a better shot at reconnecting than others. Here are some situations where getting back together is a no-brainer:
1. You’re still compatible
It’s rare to meet someone that you’re so compatible and comfortable with.
If at the course of your dating life, you realize that no one else compares to your ex, and that you still have the same spark you did when you were together, take it as a sign that what you have with this person is something truly special.
2. You didn’t break up because of cheating, violence, or incompatible core values
Relationships that end because of physical and emotional abuse, cheating, and differences in core values are rarely salvageable because they can break trust, respect, and whatever solid foundation is necessary to have a healthy relationship.
But if your reasons for breaking up don’t include these things, there’s a chance you can patch things up and try again.
3. You Break Up Because of Circumstance
Maybe you broke up because he needed to move to another state for work. Maybe you weren’t to get into a serious relationship.
Regardless of the reason, exes who break up because of circumstance have the strongest chance at rekindling the passion, precisely because there are always ways to improve your timing if the breakup happened because of circumstance instead of personal differences.
Other reasons may not be as straightforward, but they may still be very much valid. These include:
You understand what went wrong. Sometimes relationships go south, to the point that there’s nothing you can do about it.
But if you start seeing your mistakes in hindsight, and find the willingness to improve who you are to compliment your partner, both of you might have a fighting chance at salvaging the relationship.
Your issues can be fixed.
Not all issues in a relationship are completely unsalvageable.
For instance, most communication issues can be avoided by setting some ground rules and being considerate of each other’s feelings. If your problems stemmed from things that could be fixed, know that you can still fight to get the relationship back.
You feel horrible when you’re not together.
Feeling like you’re missing a part of yourself after a breakup is completely normal.
However, if you still feel this way even after you’ve given yourself time to heal, maybe it’s more of a sign that you still have feelings for the other person.
You want to compromise.
Knowing you were wrong is one thing; wanting to fix it is another.
If you or your ex get to a point where you’re both willing to sit down, compromise, and make things work, it’s definitely a good sign that the relationship has a fighting chance.
You agree on things now. Different goals and outlooks in life can put a wedge in people, especially if you’re already looking to settle down, build a life with someone, and start a family.
With time and experience, both of you will have the space to grow and learn from different people. Time might be all that you needed just to get on the same page.
Alright now that we’ve figured out you can get back with your ex, here are the key steps to take
15 steps to get your ex back
1. Find out if they still care about you
Before going through these the key steps to getting back with your ex, you need to find out if they still care about you.
This is really the key.
While the relationship has ended, the chances are pretty high that your ex holds a soft spot in their heart just for you.
If they do, it’s going to be much easier for you to get them back.
In fact, that space you occupy in their heart is going to be your most powerful ally in your efforts to get your ex back.
However, if you find out that your ex has stopped caring for you and have made it clear they don’t want you in their life, then it’s better to stop now than let your efforts go down the drain.
In fact, if this is the case, you may well be better off without them.
You have a few options with regards to finding out whether your ex cares about you or not. You may already know the answer deep down. Or you could ask mutual friends for their opinions.
It’s crucial to find out the answer to the question. Once you know, then onwards to step 10.
2. Take your time and give them space
Now that you’ve concluded that your ex cares about you, you need to immediately move into step 10.
This step is the most important but unfortunately the most difficult.
Here it is:
Take your time and give your ex some space. This is absolutely essential.
There are a few reasons for this.
First of all, you need to take some time to reflect on yourself and the things that went wrong in the relationship. To do this, it’s important to move from worrying about things to just simply reflecting on the good and the bad of the relationship.
If you’re going to see your ex soon, it will be too easy to slip into worry mode.
Secondly, by giving your ex space, you’re also giving him or her time to also reflect.
It may seem like your ex is just going to move on once they have some space. This is a risk you have to be comfortable taking.
Do whatever you need to do to give your ex some space. Don’t call them. Don’t look at them on social media. Find some activities to immerse yourself in to distract you from thinking about them.
Whatever you need to do, make sure you take your time and give your ex some space.
3. Don’t communicate with your ex
This step follows on from the previous one.
Now that you’ve decided to give your ex some space, you need to cut your communication with them.
After a breakup, you might feel the sudden urge to message them and tell them how much you miss them and that you want them back.
Stop right there! Drop the phone so nobody gets hurt.
Bombarding your ex with ‘I miss you’ messages will only make you look desperate.
Give your ex some time to think and stop being desperate.
Avoid liking and commenting on their social media posts and try the no contact rule.
It’s more attractive to your ex to be wondering about what you’re up to and whether you’re missing them, than to always be hearing from you.
Cut off communication with your ex!
Look, being broken up with is rough. You’re sitting there, constantly checking your phone and hearing notifications that don’t exist.
You spend too many hours wondering if you should give them a call, and whether or not they miss you at all.
The easy answer is no. While you’re sitting here thinking about your ex, they’re probably doing their best to move on from the relationship.
Even if they’re not completely ready to move on, your ex is at least a few steps in front of you given it was their decision to break things off.
This is why you should cut off all contact. You need to give yourself and your ex some time to internalize the breakup and heal from the relationship.
If you’re constantly available and talking to them, this is a clear signal to your ex that you’re more invested in the relationship than they are, which may cause them to avoid you completely.
The first step is to make you desirable again, and cutting off all contact will do that.
It’s a great way to start off your personal journey without being too distracted by the prospect of getting back together with your ex.
And while that is your end goal, you definitely don’t need to hover around them and suffocate them with your presence. Let your absence be felt.
4. Don’t give in to what your ex wants
Ok, you’ve figured out your ex still cares about you, you’ve managed to give them space and stopped contacting them.
Pretty soon, the chances are high your ex will reach out to you.
It’s likely to happen, and when it does your ex will want to talk about what they felt they needed more from you in the relationship.
If your ex happens to contact you, don’t let your emotions get ahead of you and give them what they want and tell them you’ll do anything to make them stay.
Never. Do. This.
Begging or catering to another person’s needs can make you look very unattractive. You may think it’s helping you to win back your ex, but the chances are they’ll lose interest again pretty quickly.
Keep your dignity and know your value.
If you give them what they want, your ex will get the idea that they can control you. A manipulative partner is the last thing you would want.
Avoid this by being firm with your decision and showing them how strong you really are.
5. Don’t give too much affection
By showing your strong side and having clear boundaries, you’re showing your ex a new and stronger side to who you really are.
This is attractive, and it’s going to result in starting to spend more time with your ex.
When this happens, you need to refrain from showing too much affection.
Showing too much affection through long messages, consistent calls, and other clingy gestures would also make you look desperate.
Avoid these things and let your ex make the first move.
Don’t act like a love-sick puppy; instead, let your ex wonder what you’re up to.
Without you constantly nagging them, they might soon find themselves missing your cheerful presence.
Soon enough, curiosity will get to your ex and and you’re one step closer to getting them back.
6. Improve yourself
You’ve shown your boundaries, given your ex space and started to spend a bit more time with him and her.
You’re already starting to create some change in your own life by being such a strong person.
Here’s the next step.
You need to continue focusing on improving yourself.
Changing yourself for the better is an effective way of showing a positive side to yourself.
Just make sure to change, not for your ex, but mainly for yourself.
Improving other aspects of your life such as your appearance, your attitude and your mentality will help you in the long-run.
Try getting a new haircut, a new style, and change your negative traits.
Work on yourself and be the best version of you.
Let the break-up and the pain you’re feeling at losing someone you have such strong feelings for be the motivation to make yourself better.
There’s nothing more attractive than being with someone who can take control of their own life.
7. Do some physical activity
This works on two levels: whenever you engage in something physical (going to the gym, running, hiking) you’re giving the body endorphins that make you feel good.
These hormones serve as a pick-me-up, which can lessen the blow of the breakup. Exercising allows you to channel your energy on something other than the breakup.
The other benefit is obviously getting in better shape.
Transforming your body into a better version of itself is not only physically attractive – a great body shows discipline and control, which are two qualities your ex might have found lacking in you.
By taking the time to exercise and get in better shape, you’re ultimately showing your ex that you’re capable of taking care of yourself, and by extension, them.
8. Be happy with the life you are living right now
Trying to be happy while wanting your ex back might be difficult — impossible, even.
But there are some simple ways to be happy right now.
Related posts (article continues below)
Check out the video I created below on how you can actually start to be happy right away. It’s a different way to looking at how to be happy:
It may sound a bit weird, but the first thing you need to do is to stop trying to be happy!
Then, you need to find feelings that you deeply desire having, and make a list of things in your life that already bring these feelings to you.
You’re doing something really powerful. You’re starting to see that you have the ability to make yourself happy.
The key point is to stop relying on your ex for your happiness. You’re using the space you have from your ex to start to learn to generate your own happiness.
This is a super difficult thing to do, but the benefits are immense. Watch the video above and work on it!
You’ll find that when you start to spend time with your ex again, you’ll be a completely different person. You won’t be depending on them for your happiness.
Your ex will feel the difference.
9. Work on your personality
The next time you see your ex, you actually want to show them that you’ve developed into a better person. It’s not so much as changing who you are as it is improving and adding to your personality.
Think about it this way: your ex broke up with you. Whatever that reason may be, it’s rooted in what you can currently offer the relationship.
Maybe your ex feels that you are irresponsible, or that you don’t have much to offer as a partner. Regardless, they feel that there are some aspects that you can definitely improve on.
This is why it’s important to start cultivating your personality. Being in a relationship with someone for so long can change who you are as a person – and not always for the better.
Now is the time to rediscover who you are, and take on hobbies and learnings that would make you more interesting.
Now that you finally have the time, do all the things you said you would do when you were in a relationship.
Go on that solo backpacking trip. Start learning a new language. Develop a new hobby. Even if it’s as simple as reading an interesting book.
The key is to add things to your life that are mentally stimulating. Interesting people attract other interesting people.
Your drive to become a better person will surely make your ex think twice about dumping you.
10. Spend time with others
If your “getting-the-ex-back” mission is still not making any progress, try spending time with other people.
You don’t have to date them. You can, however, spend time with them and let your ex see that.
This might spark a little jealousy in your crush’s system and he or she may end up wanting your attention back for themselves.
Jealousy is a powerful thing; use it to your advantage. But use it wisely.
11. Reconnect with friends
Let’s face it: there’s only so much self-improvement can do. At the end of the day, you’re still feeling lonely now that your partner is out of your life. That’s perfectly normal.
But instead of calling them and asking them to hang out, turn your attention to people who have actually been with you in the past.
Most people who get into relationships completely dissolve into it that they start forgetting their friends.
If this is you, take a step back and reconnect with old platonic relationships. You’re feeling vulnerable right now and need companionship – that’s what your friends are for.
You might not be able to share the same intimacy with your friends, but they can help ease you back into the single life and provide the companionship you need to start feeling better about yourself again.
12. Don’t force it
You’ve done everything and became a better person – now what?
The last thing you should do is contact your ex and beg them to come back. It’s tempting to go online and show them just how amazing of a life you’re living, but this thinly veiled attempt at manipulation is not going to work.
Always remember that your ex broke up with you for a reason. It is entirely up to them whether they want to go back to you or not.
Even with these efforts at self-improvement, there is really no guarantee that you’ll be winning them over.
However, what you get at the end is the assurance that you can live and thrive in a reality where you’re not in a relationship anymore.
Even if it doesn’t work out with them, you are preparing yourself for the other people that could get into your life.
Without even knowing it, you’ve already put in the time and effort to become a better person – and that’s infinitely better than being in a relationship.
13. Ask yourself if your ex is worth it
You might find it frustrating if one day you and your ex do get back together and you realize that he/she is not worth it.
Don’t let your efforts be useless.
Ask yourself, “Do I really want to get back with this person?”
If yes, then continue your efforts on trying to get them back.
But if no, it’s probably time for you to move on and get on with your life.
The steps you’ve been taking here are really powerful and they have resulted in you starting to really change your life.
It’s inevitable that this change brings with it a different perspective.
If you’re starting to see that your ex isn’t worth it, don’t question it too much. Keep on having fun spending time with other people.
Start to adopt the perspective that your ex now need to go through these steps to win you back.
Now you really are behaving as if you have the value. Because you probably do.
14. Talk with them
This step is absolutely only to be taken after going through the 9 steps above.
How that you’re living your own life, you’re happy on your own and you’re starting to create some serious change in your life, it’s time to talk with your ex.
Let them know how you’re really feeling deep down. Share your feelings with them. Let them know what they mean in your life.
They can either:
A. Tell you they still love you too and they want to get back with you.
B. Tell you they don’t love you anymore and it’s not going to happen.
If it’s the former, then congratulations! You just won your ex back! And importantly, the relationship will probably be different this time around.
But if it’s the latter, still, congratulations! You’re one step closer to finding that someone who will appreciate you for who you are.
Whatever happens, you’re ready for this moment. You are a much stronger person for what you’ve been through.
15. Accept the situation
You’ve followed these steps. You’re stronger. And you’re either back with your ex or moving on with your life.
Whatever is happening, it’s super powerful to accept the situation.
Be thankful for this incredible person, no matter what is happening. They have been the impetus for you to grow.
Use this experience to make yourself better and avoid making the same mistakes twice, whether in the relationship or with your new life.
Open another chapter of your life with a stronger heart and a braver soul.
You are a very special, unique and incredible person. Start treating yourself this way.
So You Want Your Ex Back… But Should You?
It might seem like the most obvious thing in the world right now: you were happy with your ex, and now you’re miserable without them.
Your brain starts convincing itself with lines like, “The bad times weren’t so bad!”, and, “We can always make it better if we try harder!”
And for some people, that may be true. After all, there is no such thing as the perfect relationship.
Love is something you work for, with arguments and fighting and compromises coming with it as a packaged deal.
Only those who really ride out the bumps find themselves living happily ever after (even if there are a few hiccups along the way). So how do you know if your break up with your ex was something that had to happen or something that you need to reverse right away?
Remember Why You Broke Up
The first thing you need to remember is why exactly you and your ex broke up, and there are two components to this: who made the break up happen, and why they did it.
Let’s start with the who:
- Was it you? If you were the initiator of the break up, then you find yourself in the privileged position. Your ex has probably been missing you from day one, and they might get back together with you at the snap of a finger.But you have to ask yourself: if you made the break up happen and now you want to reverse that decision, how much control do you have over your feelings, and are you being fair to your ex? All relationships should add value to your life at all times, not just when you find them convenient.
- Was it them? For those who were broken up with, you find yourself in a much more difficult position when it comes to getting back your ex.Did you do something irreversible (cheating, lying, or stealing from your ex) and break their heart in ways they can’t forgive?Or did your ex act rashly and break up with you without much reason?Either way, you have to remember: you can’t force someone to feel something they don’t want. If your ex broke up with you, you’re staring up at an uphill climb to win them over again. It might be difficult, but it’s not impossible.
- Was it mutual? Mutual breakups are always heavy, and are usually a result of both partners falling out of love after a slow and tedious process of heartbreak, attempts to mend the relationship, and failure.But the good thing about mutual breakups is that these can be repaired after time, if both parties are willing to give it another shot.You just want to make sure that you have given your relationship and the breakup enough time to mature and evolve, allowing both partners the chance to think about it rationally — whether they want to try this relationship again or finally move on with their lives.
After understanding the who, you have to think about the why. Here are the top ten reasons why people break up:
- Being unsupportive
- Not giving enough affection or attention
- Failing to communicate
- Giving up
- Being toxic
- Misdirected rage
- General bad behavior
Ask yourself: which of the reasons above contributed to the break up between you and your ex, and who was the one that hurt whom?
If you are the one who wronged your ex, then have you genuinely worked towards changing your behavior?
Have you given your ex the time to heal and assess whether they really want to try again? Have you fully acknowledged your past actions and tried in whatever ways to make up for them?
If you are the one who was wronged by your ex, then are you ready to forgive and give a second chance, or are you going to keep holding that old pain over your ex after you get back together with them?
Are you ready to move forward with your ex and try to build something new, giving them a fair shot at redeeming themselves, or are you going to stick them with guilt for the rest of the relationship?
Maturity is required from both sides, whether you are the victim or the perpetrator of the bad behavior that led to the breakup.
In many cases, the victim believes that just giving the perpetrator a second chance is enough, but for a relationship to truly evolve, effort is required from both sides.
Do You Really Want Your Ex Back or Are You Lonely?
The immediate aftermath of a breakup can either feel like the best thing in the world or the worst thing in the world, depending on whether who ended the relationship.
But regardless of how you felt on the day of the break up, time can always upend the way you feel until your feelings are the complete opposite.
In short, you might not have missed your ex the day after you broke up, but just a few days or weeks later and you might be thinking of them again every waking moment.
But do you really want your ex back, or do you just want the feeling of being in love again
According to Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist of Rutgers University, “Romantic love is an addiction.” Our brains have an “ancient brain pathway that evolved millions of years ago… for romantic love. The brain system evolved to focus your energy on an individual and start the mating process.”
Fisher’s research in the evolutionary background of relationships and romantic love has found that love can be a harmful addiction to the brain, with the experience of being rejected from a romantic relationship being strong enough to distort a person’s reality, similar to what one might experience when dealing with an addiction to drugs.
The longer you stay in a relationship that simply doesn’t work — maybe you don’t have compatible personalities, or don’t have the same goals, or you aren’t in the same stages of life — the longer you deny yourself the opportunity to move on and find a relationship that truly fits you.
This is why it’s important to understand whether you truly miss your ex or just miss the feeling of being in love.
And if you miss them, do you miss them as romantic partners, or simply as people and as friends?
Don’t continue to be in a relationship with someone simply because you make good friends, because even the best of friends can be the worst romantic companions.
Can You Be Friends With an Ex? Signs That You Can’t Make It Work
When you want your ex back in your life but you aren’t sure if you want to continue your romantic relationship with them, then you might want to consider evolving your relationship into a platonic friendship.
Here’s the thing: while you may have been great once before as a couple that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be great as friends.
Some people simply don’t work that way, and the pain of the previous relationship will always leave red marks on your attempts to be friends.
While it may work for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone.
Here are some signs you probably can’t become friends with your ex:
1. There are still some unresolved feelings:
One major problem with exes is that there is usually a lot of unresolved baggage left behind in the relationship.
You either leave and never deal with the baggage, or try to become friends and force yourselves to talk about all the unwanted elephants in the room.
Baggage will always make it impossible to have a normal, friendly encounter with your ex.
2. You can’t stand the idea of your ex with someone else:
If you become friends with your ex, you have to accept the fact that they will eventually find someone else to call “baby”.
If that bothers you, then you might not be in the right headspace yet to keep having them around you, or else it will just feel like torture.
3. You are ultimately just lonely:
As we talked about above, loneliness shouldn’t be your reason for reaching out to your ex. There are other options out there, for friends and partners.
Don’t keep going back to the same place you once clawed and fought your way out of.
4. You still think your ex will change into what you want them to be:
If a part of you is still expecting your ex to change, then you haven’t totally moved on from the relationship yet.
It’s not fair to you and not fair to your ex. At some point you have to accept — you’re just different people.
5. You are stalking your ex, physically or digitally: You might be trying to go to their old hangouts, asking your mutual friends for updates about them, or checking their social media pages to get an idea of what’s going on with their lives.
If this is you, then becoming their friend probably won’t work.
6. A part of you still wants to be together with your ex:
If any part of you still wants a romantic relationship with your ex, then that’s a clear red sign that you can’t be friends.
Either get back together, squash the feelings completely, or just stop trying to be friends. There’s no middle ground if one of you still wants what you once had.
This can be a lot to think about, but one easy litmus test you can take to determine whether you can be friends with your ex is this:
Ask yourself, “Do I think about my ex in any way that would be weird if it was any other friend?” If the answer is yes, then you might not be as prepared as you think you are for this friendship.
NEW EBOOK: If you’re struggling with a break up, then check out our new eBook: The Art of Breaking Up: The Ultimate Guide to Letting Go of Someone You Loved. Letting go of someone isn’t as easy as swiping left of right. But with the help of the no-nonsense advice in this eBook, you’ll stop agonizing over your past, and be reinvigorated to tackle life head-on. Check it out here.
You may also like reading:
- Why you lost your boyfriend (and how you can get him back)
- How to get over someone: 11 no bullsh*t tips
- How to love yourself: 15 steps to believing in yourself again
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