Author: Paul R. Brian & Renée Shen
Should I get back together with my ex?
It’s a question many of us ask at one point or another.
If you have already asked yourself this question and are looking into the possibility of getting back with an ex, it’s usually because you’ve realized that you miss your ex in your life.
If you’re willing to do what it takes to win back your ex’s heart, here’s a step-by-step guide on the stages of getting back together with an ex.
The first thing you need to know is that getting back with an ex takes patience.
This won’t necessarily be an easy process, but it’s certainly possible.
It also can require some small sacrifices, because your ex may not be as willing to give your relationship one more chance as you are.
If you’re the one who broke up or made the most serious mistakes in the relationship, you may need to say you’re sorry.
Be sincere and be patient, especially if the end of the relationship was delicate and painful.
When it comes to the stages of getting back together with an ex, they require you to start again from scratch.
And it all starts with sorry.
Disclaimer: if you’re looking to say sorry, be sure that it’s because you do have something to say sorry for, and not because you are desperate for your ex’s approval again.
…Or because you’re just itching to tell them what they want to hear!
You don’t want to fall into the trap of being an approval seeker because you’re afraid of being alone.
This would be taking a step backwards. It is also toxic, low value and not worth the cost.
After a breakup, it's natural to stop taking care of yourself very well.
Your sleep may suffer as well as your diet and exercise regime. Not to mention your emotional state.
But if you really want to win back your ex, you can't let discouragement overwhelm you.
Maintaining good health in addition to other basic hygiene and self-care, will help improve your self-esteem and make you show up as the highest value version of yourself.
It will also increase your confidence to undertake all steps in the crucial stages of getting back together with an ex.
Your ex will be much more interested in potentially getting back together with a person who’s looking after themselves than someone wallowing in self–pity and looking like a live-action beehive.
The next of the stages of getting back together with an ex are to allow your ex some emotional distance.
This is so you can bridge the gap that has occurred since the breakup.
That gap can be bridged if you let old emotions associated with your relationship run their course for your ex, so that new emotions can take place inside them, like:
Related: Male Dumper's Regret Timeline: 5 Stages, Psychology & FAQ.
With patience as well as a reasonable and committed attitude that still allows him or her their own space, you can create the optimal conditions for getting back together.
This tip may seem too hard when you’re grieving, but holding back from going “all in” after making contact is also a great way to make your ex miss you.
If you don't give your ex space and keep insisting on coming back at all costs and as soon as possible, they are likely to quickly get tired of you and even get angry.
Taking time away after reestablishing contact is a way to let things cool down and allow the sorrows of the past to settle.
At first it can be difficult to control your fingers not to call or text, but you have to be firm so that your ex realizes how much he or she misses you and how important your presence is in their life.
Just don't stay too long without any kind of communication, because anyone could still show up and make your ex forget all about getting back with you.
If you’ve gone no contact, here are 10 high value texts you can send them after no contact (& 7 tips).
If there was one rule you need to remember for all the stages of getting back together with an ex, it’s this:
Never lower your value!
What does that mean?
It means to:
Even if you're feeling that desperation to win back your ex as soon as possible, you need to hold onto your dignity.
Desperation is something an ex can smell a mile away.
And though it’s completely understandable that you may be feeling desperate after losing something precious to you, in order to get that precious thing back, you have to show up hig value, not low value!
So please: no humiliating yourself by asking your ex to give you one more chance or something dramatic like that.
Don’t fall to your knees and say how much you love them in their front yard or call and start crying for an hour after too much wine.
Although it’s perfectly ok to feel vulnerable and be vulnerable (especially after a breakup), you have to be discerning, lest you get hurt unnecessarily or push your ex further away.
Please be careful about being too vulnerable, and do not open yourself up fully until you know that your ex is also potentially interested in getting back together.
This is one of the most important of the stages of getting back together with an ex.
It’s vital that you maintain your self-respect and do not bow and scrape on the floor.
This won’t win back your ex. In fact, these kinds of groveling actions only show that you don't value yourself.
You don’t have to do this in front of your ex if you don’t want to - the most important thing is to do it privately first.
If you broke up due to constant disagreements, review everything that occurred and acknowledge your mistakes.
You can even write things down in a journal (before you approach your ex) so that things are clearer and you can properly assess what went on in your relationship.
Bottom line is that taking responsibility is attractive and necessary for your own growth.
And if you don’t grow, how can you bring a new you to the relationship?
You won’t win back the heart of your ex if you refuse to take responsibility for mistakes that contributed to the end of the relationship.
I know that’s often easier said than done. And you may really have some issues that you still feel you were justified in raising a stink about.
But if you want to get back with an ex, you sometimes need to put aside being right.
This helps you to make way for your ex’s feelings and meet them on the same page that they are on.
I know you want your ex back right now, but there’s always a reason for a breakup.
Even if your ex is a pretty good catch, there was a reason why they’re your ex right now.
Either you saw lots of problems in the relationship, your ex saw lots of problems - or you both weren’t getting your needs met.
Of course, the relationship could’ve also just been super toxic.
As such, recognizing toxic patterns and negative associations with each other in your relationship is one of the most important of the stages of getting back together with an ex.
So here’s a little exercise you can do with me…
Answer the following questions in order to identify and address potential toxic patterns:
Did one or both of you consistently treat the relationship as a place you go to take value?
Were one of you consistently less invested than the other, making the other party feel unloved and undervalued?
Did one or both of you consistently bring up the other’s fears and insecurities, causing the other to feel constant negative emotions in the relationship?
If you answer yes to any or all of the above questions, then your next exercise is to write down three possible new rituals or habits you can take up in order to change that exact pattern moving forward.
So go ahead and write down these ideas now. I’ll start with an example.
Say you answered yes to the question “Did one or both of you consistently treat the relationship as a place you go to take value?”
New rituals and habits could be:
These exercises are for you to show up higher value and to make sure you move forward in a positive way with your ex.
Regardless of the reasons that caused the breakup, don't ignore everything you've been through, as the problems from before may reappear if you don't take action to change the course of the relationship in the future.
Here’s the bottom line:
You won't change your ex's ways before you change yourself.
You need to show up differently. And you start by being able to recognize your own limits and traits that may cause problems once again.
If your intention is to win back your ex, it’s very good to demonstrate that you have the willingness and commitment to try to act differently this time around.
After all, no one will want to start dating again if it just leads to a repeat of the exact same problems and drama as last time.
Unfortunately in times of crisis, we often end up focusing a lot on the defects and on the bad moments.
Sometimes a conversation that was supposed to be good and aimed at solving something, turns into a laundry list of complaints, or a begging session.
If you want to succeed at the stages of getting back together with an ex, it’s important to also remember to celebrate the good times you had together!
Remind them of how great it was to be a couple, and how you could have that connection again.
Believe in you guys together.
When you and your ex are talking amicably again and you’re sure that you’re both feeling emotionally connected, you can even invite your ex to go on a date near where you first met and relive those moments.
Just remember to respect their space and never suffocate your ex with your own agenda!
As you go about these various stages of getting back together with an ex, it’s important to remember one thing.
It’s natural for everyone to change in various ways over time, but deep down our essence remains the same.
Don’t give up on that chemistry and connection which brought you together in the first place.
Let your ex see your value and remember all the qualities and magic that first brought you together.
If you’re completely sure that you belong together, don’t give up easily.
The road to getting back together with an ex is often rocky. It may require you to have faith in a better future, even if the present moment and their reactions to your efforts are very lackluster.
At the same time, remember to take your foot off the gas a little bit, especially near the beginning of reestablishing contact with your ex.
In addition, remember not to make the decision to get back together with an ex impulsively.
You should also never think of it as a band-aid that will suddenly “fix” your life or make you happy once again.
Only get back with your ex because you’re still in love with them and really want to make the relationship work.
Hopefully, with a solid foundation, you can both work together to rebuild the love you once had.
If you have decided to go through the stages of getting back together with an ex, you must be ready to make the necessary changes.
You have to understand that you’ll both need to compromise, admit what went wrong and be self-aware and conscious of doing things differently this time around.
It is in this state of mutual commitment that you have a real chance to make things work.
Remember that it’s all about being happy and learning and growing together with somebody you love.
So if that’s the root of your motivation, then by all means do your best to get back together with your ex.
Yes they do! Every relationship is different, as is every person. Sometimes all it takes to get back together with your ex is to show up with more value than you did before.
Breaking up alone will never save a relationship. This is because what makes two people want to be together and stay together is the value they have to add to each other, including the mutual feeling of being in love.
Breaking up may make someone fear losing you, or make someone resist the difficult feelings associated with a breakup (therefore the pain pushes them to go back to you out of fear of discomfort).
Bottom line is: don’t rely on a breakup to make you guys get back together. Rely on the value that you can add.
Paul R. Brian
Paul Rowan Brian is a freelance journalist, author and writer from Canada. He's written for Ideapod, Hack Spirit and Love Connection and is focused on culture, relationships and self-development. You can follow him on Twitter @paulrbrian.
Editor & Author For National Council for Research on Women. Founder & Author of the Popular Women's Relationship & Dating Advice Website, The Feminine Woman.
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