12 tips to successfully get your ex back after a break-up

So you and your ex broke up. Maybe you broke up with them or they broke up with you, but for one reason or another, you’re no longer together.

But you know more than anyone else that you two made the perfect couple, and you don’t want to give up so easily.

There’s a huge difference between being a hopeless and obsessive crazy ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, and someone who knows that their ex was genuinely their soulmate.

In this article I explain exactly what you need to know to get back together with your ex, and make sure that this time around, the relationship works.

Why Couples Break Up In The First Place

Perfect relationships don’t exist. Even the most perfect couple on paper has one or two things they need to work on.

Understanding the common reasons why relationships break down is one of the most important things to do if you’re planning to get back with your ex.

Sometimes couples break up because they can no longer keep up with the demands of the relationship.

Others fall through because they end up realizing their partner isn’t who they always thought they were.

There are multiple reasons why couples break up in the first place, and knowing what you and your ex went through specifically can help you decide whether this relationship deserves a second shot.

1) Getting Caught Up In The Honeymoon Phase

What it looks like:

  • High libido and intense bedroom sessions
  • The need to always chase novelty
  • Feeling inadequate without external stimulation

Common problems: Lack of self-esteem or confidence, incompatibility, fear of being alone, being uncomfortable with change, unsustainable expectations

Too many people fall into relationships that don’t go beyond superficial connections.

When the fun dates end and both parties are forced to reflect on their relationship, people realize they don’t have anything in common with the other person.

Relationships built on adventures, novelty, and sex are vulnerable to breakups because the people in them neglected to build a stable foundation.

Healthy, happy relationships don’t need constant reassurance or stimulation to grow.

2) Growing In Different Directions

What it looks like:

  • Fighting over political or religious views
  • Feeling like you’re settling for your partner
  • Feeling neglected or alienated from your partner

Common problems: Different sense of responsibilities, incompatible life goals and direction, financial problems, pressure from work or peers, feeling of being held back by partner

Maybe once upon a time you two were two peas in a pod. You liked the same things, upheld the same principles, and enjoyed the same hobbies.

But over the course of time, one or two of you have branched out and grew into different versions of yourselves.

At some point, couples stand at the crossroads where they have to choose between pursuing who they want to become or staying who they currently are with their partner.

For a lot of people, seeing their long-term partner change or remain stagnant is enough to give the relationship a second thought.

As two people evolve and mature, so too will the demands and expectations of the relationship.

When these new expectations aren’t met, one or both parties start rethinking why they got together in the first place.

3) Relationship Fatigue

What it looks like:

  • Being avoidant of your partner
  • Automatic defensiveness or offensiveness
  • Repetitive fights and arguments

Common problems: Stress from work or school, failure to communicate properly, loss of respect for one another, feeling of distrust and betrayal, complacency

Not all relationships stand through the test of time.

When stress at work or pressure from family members and friends become too much to handle, couples that aren’t equipped to face problems together end up redirecting the tension and negative energy into the relationship.

As individuals grow and mature, they also need to do their share to keep the relationship alive.

Partners who don’t work on communicating and strengthening the relationship eventually succumb to the external stressors and explode on each other.

How Breakups Can Save Relationships

Breaking up with your long-term partner can feel like the end of the world. And part of that is because of modern media’s unfair expectations on relationships.

We’re led to believe that you only either get fairytale endings or “the ends”, and that there is nothing in between.

But a breakup might just be what the two of you needed to become better people.

Sometimes relationships progress into something more serious before either parties have had the chance to develop into more mature partners.

Without the sensibility or the experience to deal with more advanced relationship problems, too many couples end up breaking up instead of working together to make the relationship work.

The main problem with relationships is that couples grow complacent of each other.

Instead of trying harder to improve their behavior or rethink their approach, they settle into automatic responses that aren’t always helpful for the relationship.

Breakups are an opportunity for the two of you to miss each other and reflect individually.

It’s a wake up call for couples who have fallen into a never-ending loop of fighting, bickering, or cheating. It’s a reminder that you can easily lose your partner if you don’t step up and hold your end of the bargain.

If you and your ex broke up because of one (or two) of the reasons above, the good news is that it’s not completely over for you and your dream partner.

For certain relationships, this wake up call might just be the nudge you needed to see the relationship under a different light.

Does Your Relationship Deserve A Second Chance?

That’s not to say that all break ups are equal. Some relationships where partners are abusive are just doomed to fail in the beginning.

On the other hand, relationships with fixable problems or partners that are willing to work together may have a better shot the second time around.

Here’s how you can tell if your relationship is worth saving, or if it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie:

  • The relationship ended on good terms, meaning both of you still have a good foundation of respect and trust for each other. This is important in making sure the relationship starts on a good note.
  • Your problems are fixable through compromise. Even if you don’t have the same beliefs or the same personality, there are ways to work around your differences. Willingness isn’t always enough to maintain a relationship; as long as there are sustainable solutions to maintain the relationship in the long-run, your relationship has a fighting chance of starting anew.
  • You’re no longer the people you were when you broke up. Some time apart has given the both of you the chance to improve and become the person your ex needs to work on the relationship together.
  • You’re ready to forgive. Breakups give old relationship wounds enough time to heal. If you can sit in the same room and discuss issues without lashing out, then the relationship has a chance to start fresh without the old baggage. 
  • Both of you are ready to contribute more than love. Infatuation and a fixation on romantic emotions isn’t sustainable for relationships. If your relationship failed because you were unsuitable partners, you can’t go in the second time and expect things to be different. Both partners should be able to bring something to the table the second time around, whether it’s simply more patience or a willingness to become more similar.
  • You both take responsibility for the breakup. Partnerships are 50/50. To make the relationship work, both of you need to understand that these relations give and take. Cooperation is key the second time around.
  • You never gave the relationship a shot in the first place. Maybe you called it quits before even trying to fix the relationship. This time, you’re actually willing to work together and try a little harder before throwing in the towel.

Avoiding The Common Pitfalls Of Getting Back With Your Ex

Getting back together after a breakup can be a complicated affair.

To make sure your relationship actually gets a fair chance at surviving, you have to be wary of common mental traps that compel you to move forward with a relationship before you’re actually ready.

While it’s completely normal to feel some traces of distrust and betrayal, you have a responsibility to work against these instincts and see your ex as a partner and not as the enemy.

If your mind is constantly sounding off the alarms, chances are you’re just not ready to get back together just yet.

Here are some things you might be experiencing early on in the relationship, and what you should be feeling instead.

Pitfall 1: “The relationship feels exactly the same. After the novelty wear off, it’s easy to see that nothing has really changed”

What it means: You and your partner may have made some surface-level changes keeping more serious relationship problems under wraps.

This may be enough to keep you distracted for now, but it’s not strong enough to keep the real problem at bay.

What it should feel like: You and your partner are constantly working to make impactful changes to your relationships.

You don’t skirt around difficult decisions and work together to reach a compromise or a solution.

You feel confident that your relationship is finally taking shape, and that agreements are being made.

Pitfall 2: “My ex and I just fell back together and I’m worried we’re falling into the same routine.”

What it means: You and your ex haven’t had enough time to process the breakup. You’re falling into the same patterns and you risk committing the same mistakes all over again.

What it should feel like: You’re autocritical about your own negative tendencies. Instead of doing the same thing again, you and your ex are actually more aware of your negative contributions to the relationship, and are working together to minimize friction and be more cooperative.

Pitfall 3: “Even after my ex and I have worked to rebuild trust, I’m still wary about cheating problems and what the implications are for our relationship”

What it means: You simply haven’t forgiven your ex. No amount of coaxing can help your relationship if, deep down, you’re still unable to forgive them. This has made you untrusting and doubtful of everything they do.

What it should feel like: Despite the betrayal, you’re ready to move forward with your ex. You understand their mistakes in the past, but you also know that they are capable of changing and becoming a better person.

You don’t hold past mistakes over their head and use it as leverage every time there is conflict. You work together to heal past wounds and build a better future.

Pitfall 4: “I started dating other people and missed my ex terribly. Being around others reminded me of how good the relationship was”

What it means: You don’t actually miss your ex, you just miss the companionship. This makes you more willing to settle for a less-than-ideal relationship.

You constantly convince yourself that everything will get better eventually even if all evidence points to stagnancy and complacency.

What it should feel like: The relationship has a renewed sense of love. Your ex doesn’t just provide companionship; they provide a specific kind of companionship only they can fulfill.

You acknowledge both the good and the bad in the relationship and treat each other as equal partners. There is no one else that you’d rather be with than your partner.

How To Get Your Ex Back: 12 Steps

1. Show Them You Listened

There could be a million specific reasons why you and your ex broke up, and no article on the internet will be able to guess the exact circumstances that led to your split.

But one thing we can be sure of is this: regardless of why exactly you and your ex parted ways, your ex believes that you don’t listen to them.

So show them that you’re ready to listen. Give them the opportunity to see that you’re not the same person they broke up with.

If they had issues with certain things that you did or certain ways you acted, then make sure they know that you’re ready not to keep arguing over the same things, but to compromise and move forward.

2. Give Them Space This Time

Now that you’ve let them know that you’re reading to listen you need to immediately move onto this step.

Step 2 is critical, but it won’t be easy.

What is it?

Do nothing!

Yep, you read that right. Allow your ex to have some space from you. It may sound counter-intuitive but it is essential.

Why?

First of all, you need to take time for yourself to take a step back and understand what went wrong in the relationship.

Have a think about what worked and what didn’t in the relationship. Be honest.

If you see your ex too soon then you won’t allow your mind to be honest about this.

Secondly, in the same vein, you’re also allowing your ex to reflect on the relationship.

I’m sure you might be worried that your ex will move on from you, but this the risk you simply have to take.

I know this step is going to be tough, and this advice goes against the grain of mainstream advice, but it’s probably the most powerful thing you can do.

However, you have to do it in a very specific way. You don’t want to simply cut contact completely.

You have to give them space, but not complete time away from you.

To do that, try this:

Send this “No Communication” text

— “You’re right. It’s best that we don’t talk right now, but I would like to be friends eventually.” —

This one needs to be sent to your ex at the right time for it to be truly effective.

But why I like it is that you’re communicating with them that you don’t really need to talk anymore. In essence, you’re saying that you don’t really need them to play any role in your life anymore.

Why is this so good?

You induce a “fear of loss” in your ex which will trigger their attraction for you again.

I learned about this text from Brad Browning, who has helped thousands of men and women get their exes back. He goes by the moniker of “the relationship geek”, for good reason.

In this free video, he’ll show you exactly what you can do to make your ex want you again.

No matter what your situation is — or how badly you’ve messed up since the two of you broke up — he’ll give you a number of useful tips that you can apply immediately.

Here’s a link to his free video again. If you really want your ex back, this video will help you do this.

3. Change Your Life for the Better

There’s nothing less attractive than seeing your ex miserable and lost without you. It gives you the sense that they have no self-identity, and thus they add zero value to your life because they have nothing to bring to the table.

So attract your ex by showing them that you don’t really need them to be happy and successful. Hit the gym, get great grades, have an amazing career.

Be active, alive, and present, all without the input of your ex. It’s all about showing them your value, and that they are missing out by not having you around anymore.

4. Stay Casual When You First Meet Up

It can be tempting to throw yourself at your ex when you finally convince them to give you another chance (or at least, see you again).

But you want to establish casual barriers and show your ex that they can’t have you the moment they give you their time.

It’s all about showing yourself the respect and love you deserve. No one can really learn to love you properly if you don’t even do it for yourself.

Give your ex the idea that you’re not theirs for the taking; if they want you again, they’ll have to do their part.

5. Assess That This Can Actually Work

Sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be. No matter how much you love your ex, you might be truly incompatible with them, and trying over and over again might just lead you to a life full of misery and disappointment.

So think about this before you rush in. The love and attraction might be there, but at the core of both of your personalities, do you two actually work?

It’s not always easy to see this when you’re in the middle of the lust and the rush of it all, so take some time and assess the situation.

Ask your friends and family for their unbiased perspectives, and even ask your ex.

6. Don’t Overthink It

While it’s important to assess and think, it’s also important not to think too much. This can end up making your attempts to get back with your ex too inauthentic, and it might ultimately turn them off.

Be natural, be cool. Be the person you were when you first met your ex; better yet, be a better and more refined version of that person.

You don’t want to show your ex that you’re overly concerned with all the fights and the disagreements; you want to show them that you’re ready to start a new relationship on top of the failed old one.

7. This Time, Do the Work

Finally, it’s important to realize that your second attempt at this relationship is doomed from the get-go if you approach it and live it the same exact way.

You and your ex need to make real, lasting changes, or else you’ll just run into the same problems you had once the second honeymoon phase fades away.

So do the work. Make the changes in yourself that you need to make, and make sure your ex sticks to their word and pulls their own weight.

Whatever the “default setting” of your relationship might be didn’t work the first time, so more effort is needed on both sides to actually make this relationship last this time.

8. 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.

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try this “Jealousy” text

— “I think it was a great idea that we decided to start dating other people. I do just want to be friends right now!” —

By saying this, you’re telling your ex that you’re actually dating other people right now… which will in turn make them jealous.

This is a good thing.

You’re communicating to your ex that you’re actually wanted by others. We’re all attracted to people wanted by others. By saying that you’re dating around already, you’re pretty much saying that “it’s your loss!”

After sending this text they’ll begin to feel attraction for you again because of the “fear of loss” I mentioned earlier.

This was another text I learned from Brad Browning, hands down my favorite “get your ex back” online coach.

Here’s a link to his free online video. He gives a number of useful tips that you can apply immediately to get your ex back.

Tips On Keeping The Relationship Alive

The one thing you might realize this second time around is that a good and worthwhile relationship takes work.

No relationship can stay alive on auto pilot, and even the best couples focus on maintaining and improving their relationship every now and then.

This may have been one mistake you and your ex made before you broke up; you were perfect for each other, but you just assumed the relationship would be perfect forever without going out of your way to make it work.

Here are some key tips you need to remember once you get back with your ex to make sure you don’t end up falling apart again:

8. Keep the passion burning

Your initial attraction for each other will only last for so long. Eventually the passion can die down, and even the best sex can turn mediocre.

So do what you need to do to make sure your partner still wants you, both physically and romantically.

Talk to them about their kinks, keep yourself fit (and vice versa), and never close yourself off to them.

9. Always, always communicate proactively

Communication naturally tends to fall off as a relationship progresses, simply because we fall into simple routines and habits.

You and your partner need to schedule regular communication breaks every week or month, just to make sure you’re both on the same page.

10. Embrace the love as your energy

Relationships can get tiring, and even the best ones can leave both partners feeling exhausted. Learn how to use the love from the relationship to motivate you.

Use the memories, the emotions, and the overall harmony between you and your partner as a source of renewable energy to keep yourself going every time you feel down.

11. Never stop growing as a person

We’re attracted to people who grow, and that doesn’t change just because we’re in a long-term relationship.

Keep your partner wanting you by continuously growing as a person. That doesn’t mean you need to have huge achievements every year; it just means that you need to keep being a person who is open to new experiences and learning new things.

12. Don’t ever think you can read their mind

Nothing feels more deflating than knowing that your partner thinks they can read your mind.

You never want to feel like you’re not being heard in a relationship, and one mistake that many of us make is shutting our partners down before they get a chance to explain themselves because we think we understand it already.

Even if you think you know how your partner feels, always give them the opportunity to explain themselves.

A Break Up Isn’t Necessarily the End: Don’t Let Your Ex Become The One Who Got Away

Break ups suck. Nobody wants to experience it, but we all do at one point or another.

And while many break ups were obviously inevitable to everyone outside of the relationship, some break ups happen to otherwise perfect couples for reasons that could have been avoided.

If you think that your ex is your soulmate, then go for it. Take that second chance and work for them in ways you didn’t do before. As they say, love always finds a way.

Written by Lachlan

I'm Lachlan Brown, the founder of the online blog, Hack Spirit, and editor of Ideapod. I'm incredibly passionate about mindfulness and relationships. Some people consider me a relationship or mindful expert, but really I'm just an average guy with an overwhelming passion to help other people improve their lives.

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