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The Ultimate Rulebook on How to Get Your Ex Back

The Ultimate Rulebook on How to Get Your Ex Back

Updated on May 27, 2022 | Published on Apr 18, 2020

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

How To Get Your Ex Back - 4 Steps Plan to Get the Success!

It is heart-breaking to accept. But it is also true. Almost all of us experience a breakup at least once in our lives, if not more.

And it may be your high school sweetheart or someone you connected with over a book in a library. If you still want them, you may be thinking about how to get your ex back.

Of course, there are always chances that something doesn’t fit right, and you decide that it isn’t working out anymore. Or, even worse, one of you doesn’t feel the love and affection anymore. 

What if there was a miscommunication or something that you could have resolve? Even after months of separation, what if you still feel strongly for them?

What if you were wiser now and were better prepared for a relationship with your ex again?

And, what if we could tell you how to get your ex back?

The Ultimate Rulebook on How to Get Your Ex Back
The Ultimate Rulebook on How to Get Your Ex Back

Who Broke Up and Why?

Before we try to help you win your ex-partner back into your lives, you have to think back to the time that you two were together.

This is important so you can recall who led the breakup – was it you or was it your partner? Or, was it a mutual decision to split up? 

It is also important to think of the reason behind the breakup. Some issues could be solved easily. But breakups due to infidelity, narcissistic behavior, jealousy, and abuse should not be salvaged.

You must understand that being with a partner you love and care for is meant to be an uplifting experience. If it endangers your existence and mental well-being, you have to give it another thought. 

Knowing who initiated the breakup and the core reasons behind it help a lot. It will help you in figuring if it would be easy to reconcile with your ex and if it is worth the process.

Also, it helps in realizing if you want them back because of your love towards them or is it a temporary feeling of void and boredom that you feel.

Sometimes, when we have been with someone for years and they leave, we feel this emptiness within us that is hard to fill – mainly because we don’t know how to, and we are too emotionally weak to do it.

This is why, before you immerse yourself in the process of rekindling with your old lover, you must analyze the relationship you once had with them and the various reasons you aren’t with them now.

Additionally, you must also understand that getting back with your ex should be for the right reasons and not just to cater to your loneliness or to fill your time. 

Is There A Specific Process to Win Your Ex Back?

Yes! And, we can’t highlight enough the importance of following the process thoroughly to ensure that your relationship, once you get back with them, lasts forever.

Otherwise, what is even the point of trying to reconnect with them again, right?

You must understand that after a breakup, especially with the one you thought to be your one and only, you are heartbroken, emotionally exhausted, and above all, confused.

And, while you are going through all of this, it is extremely easy for you to make a mistake that could ruin your chances of getting back with them. 

Having a set plan and following it will bring you a sense of direction. It would help you remove the confusion and have proper guidance.

A step-by-step plan would motivate you when you feel down and depressed. It will bring you to hope when everything feels impossible and life feels pointless and unsure. 

At this point, you must know that this post talks about every aspect of your personal life post the breakup so you could revive your soul and find yourself once again so you could find the courage and objectivity to get back with your ex-partner.

This is why it is detailed and would take a bit of time for you to go through every point and implement it. But you must pay close attention to everything and apply it as it is suggested. 

Let us now look at some of the crucial steps you must follow before you can revive your relationship with your ex-partner.

5 Reasons To Get Back Together with Your Ex

The allure of the one that got away is possibly stronger than anything. And, even if we could try and avoid the temptation, all those movies, songs, and books claiming an eternal love story and speaking of unrequited love makes it all the more difficult.

As much as we love to see Carrie and Mr. Big (Sex and the city) or Noah and Allie (The Notebook) getting their happily ever after, they are fiction. 

Though you probably broke up for an extremely valid and logical reason at the time, the temptation to rekindle with an old flame is as real as wanting to find new experiences. And, let’s be honest.

Getting back with an ex sounds a lot easier than having to find someone new, talking to them, finding chemistry, and repeating the entire process all over again. 

So, how do you know if it is a good idea to get back with your ex? 

The obvious reasons that pop in your head when you hear this question is – “I love him/her too much”, “It is difficult to imagine my life without him/her”, “I would never find a love like that again”, and the worst excuse of all “He/she made me happy”. You have to ask if they made you happy, why are you heartbroken and suffering right now?

While the above-mentioned reasons are just your brain playing tricks on you, there are some valid reasons where it could be a good idea to try and reconnect with your ex. 

1. You broke up on a whim

Sometimes, two partners who are perfectly in sync with one another break up because of silly reasons, such as ego. In the age of instant hook up and instant breakup, a lot of us are losing patience.

And, patience and compassion are the two must-haves for any relationship to survive. Sometimes, you react in a rash manner without giving it much thought. As a result, one of you gets hurt and decides it is best to end the relationship. 

2. The relationship was great

If you are still bitter from the breakup, you may not see the possibility that your relationship was ever good.

However, since you are thinking of getting back with your ex, chances are you have already recovered from the bitterness. 

Not considering the honeymoon period of your relationship where it was all roses and unicorns and everything seemed perfect, how would you rate your relationship based on communication, honesty, respect, and trust?

Do you think you can confidently check all these boxes?

If your answer to all the above factors is a confident ‘Yes!’ then you can certainly say that your relationship was great and that you two deserve another chance to be together. 

3. The breakup was circumstantial

More often than not, people decide to separate because of the circumstances. For instance, imagine you and your partner fall in love and then one of you has to leave the city or country for further education or work.

Even though you tried to work out a long-distance relationship, your lifestyle and time zones didn’t support you. And, eventually, you decided to part ways despite how great you two were together. 

In such situations, there is no problem trying to find your way back to each other again provided you are sure that the circumstances have changed for good and that none of you would be leaving again. 

4. Your family and friends vouch for your relationship 

Most of the time, when you and your partner are broken up, your friends and family are the ones to forget them and let go so you can move on.

They would tell you if they didn’t think that your partner was the right fit for you. While you ignore signs of a problem due to your love for them, your friends and family always know better. 

However, if your people tell you that your partner is worth another shot and that it is a good idea to work around the differences and save the relationship, it indicates that you must re-evaluate your decision of being separated from them and try to be with them again. 

5. You have a child together

Now, let’s be clear. Having a child isn’t a reason to stay with someone who doesn’t respect you or treat you right. You shouldn’t stay in a toxic relationship just because they are your child’s parent too.

If you do, then you ruin the chances of your child growing up in a normal childhood. Instead, they will grow up to see their parents constantly fighting, bickering, disrespecting, and not loving each other. 

However, if you feel that your relationship with your partner was good and that there is a possibility for you two to work out your differences and try for a future together again, it would be extremely beneficial for your child to grow up with both their parents.

But, keep in mind, that you should only take this decision if you two are certain. The constant change in your relationship status with your partner could adversely affect your child. 

How To Get Your Ex Back? – 4 Steps Plan

Let us now address the elephant in the room. By now, you know how to figure out if you want to get back with your ex. You have a clear idea about yourself and them, and whether they are worth another shot.

Assuming that you have made a logical decision, it is time that you know about the step-by-step process of winning your ex-partner back without losing your respect or dignity. 

Step 1: Stop being clingy and desperate

When trying to get back with an ex, there are a few deadly mistakes that you are bound to make, especially if you lack a definitive guide on how to go about it.

Not only these deadly mistakes are a complete NO towards protecting your self-respect and dignity, but they are surely going to mess your chances of ever reviving your relationship with your ex. 

a. Stop calling and texting them constantly

Most individuals complain that they have tried to contact their ex a hundred times, but they barely respond.

Despite what your instincts tell you, this is one of the biggest mistakes you can commit after you break up with your partner.

Though your gut instincts tell you that if you don’t contact them repeatedly, they wouldn’t know that you still love or they would forget you, it’s absolutely a bad idea.

Instead of showing your ex how much you love them, every time you call or text them, you show them how needy you are and how your life is so miserable without them.

This clingy behavior is not only unattractive but annoying to the point that it could push them away forever. 

A major blunder is to drunk-text them or drunk-dial your ex, as is normal when you go out drinking after the breakup because you are so filled with raw emotions that after a pint (or four), you can barely contain yourself. Assign a trusted friend to take care of your phone when you go out and not give it back no matter what. 

b. Do not seek sympathy and pity

Agreed that your broken heart is making you feel miserable, but do you want to beg someone to take you back or to love you?

And, even if they do come back, do you want someone to stay with you because they love and respect you or because they pity you?

Begging your ex-partner to come back to you makes you look weak and insecure. It not only damages your dignity but could possibly harm your confidence and self-esteem.

Besides, if begging someone to come back to you would bring them back, no one would ever break up. 

When your partner leaves you, they are mentally ready for you to lead them to stay or beg them to not break up with you.

And when you don’t give that comfort to them, you present yourself as someone strong, someone who would rather have their self-respect over begging someone to be with them. 

c. Don’t allow anyone to treat you like a doormat

One of the most common things we tend to say to our exes when trying to get them back is that ‘we would do whatever they say or be whoever they want’ if they came back.

Yet again, this is your instinct telling you that if you give your all to someone, they will have you back. It doesn’t work like that and you need to clear your head to see it. 

You may feel that it is all justified as long as you can have them back in your life. After all, that is what all this is about, right? Wrong.

Though trying to revive a relationship that was lost due to certain resolvable concerns is significant but letting someone walk all over you just because you think that will bring them back is morally incorrect. 

Also, if you let someone do this to you, what you get in return is not love. In fact, it only makes your ex respect you less and take you for granted.

God forbid, if they are a narcissist, they would have a field day knowing that you are ready to submit everything you have just to have them back. 

d. Don’t smother them with your affection

Your basic instinct will scream that only if you could show them that you love them; they will want to get back. Also, you would feel the need to express just how nobody in the whole wide world feels for them the way you do.

Or, that your partner will come running back once they see just how much stronger you feel for them and are willing to do for them. 

Do not listen to your instinct. Remember, they already know how you feel about them or how much you love them.

If they didn’t, there won’t be a relationship in the first place. And, if knowing all of that, they still left, smothering them now with your affection won’t make a difference. 

The more you try and show how much you think about them all the time and how you love them over and above everything, the more they feel trapped in the situation.

And, if there is anything this will do, it is to make them want to run away from you as soon and as fast as possible. 

e. Don’t lose your mind if they start seeing someone else

If your ex starts dating others during the breakup or post it, imagining them in someone else’s arms would be a stomach-churning, mind-exploding feeling.

And, not only would you be furious about it, but you would also feel that if you didn’t take action now, you would lose them forever.

You would feel to act against everything that has been advised here and go straight to them in an attempt to profess your undying love. 

Your instinct will tell you to call and text them, even show up at their workplace or home or wherever they may be.

You would want to beg for them to come back to you. And you would want to show them how wrong this new person is for them, and how you two are meant to be together. 

If you haven’t figured it out yet, your instincts and mind enter a panic mode when things like this happen.

And, they ask you to ignore every logic and just do what seems like the only choice to have your ex back at that moment. 

You need to understand that if your partner is dating someone else right after they broke up with you, it is a rebound relationship.

And, a rebound relationship only happens when someone tries to get over someone but cannot. It is also one of the most ineffective ways to move on. And, thus, these types of relationships are extremely short-lived. 

If the reason behind your breakup was that your person cheated on you or they were in love with someone else, it is not the same as a rebound. In such situations, your ex chose the other person over you and left.

And, it is advised that you do not pursue them because they have made up their mind about not being with you and being with the other person. Also, you trying to get them back when they have happily moved on is only going to leave you more hurt than you already are. 

f. Don’t express anger or talk bad about them behind their back

One of the most common ways people like to express their frustration after a breakup is to bad mouth their exes in front of others or even be mean to them.

This is particularly true If your relationship had a lot of name-calling instances during arguments, or if you both used ‘breakup’ as a threat constantly. 

If the above situation is true, your instinct would like to tell you that this is just another argument and that showing anger, like you did when you two were together, would calm your partner down and they would come back to you. 

Not only does this make you less attractive and unreasonable, but it also helps your ex to think that maybe breaking up with you was a good idea after all.

Showing anger and name-calling them will remind them of all the arguments you had when you were together. It will remind them of how your relationship grew weaker and gradually ended. 

g. What if you have already made these mistakes?

Let’s be honest. There are high chances that you have probably made one (or more) of these mistakes. But, don’t worry.

Just because you have made such mistakes already doesn’t mean all hope is lost. After all, you were only trying to win back the person you love, and you didn’t know any better.

It is important that you realize what you have been doing could sabotage your chances of getting back with your ex-boyfriend/girlfriend.

And, thus, you need to stop repeating those errors immediately and work on repairing the damage that has already been done. 

Step 2: The NO CONTACT Rule 

The second-most critical step in re-establishing a connection with an ex-partner is to strictly follow the no contact rule.

Simply put, this means that you cut all contacts with them for a short period of time; usually, 4 weeks is enough.

And, by no contact, we mean radio silence – no calls, texts, social media messages, “accidentally” bumping into, hanging out with common friends hoping to see them, or even checking on them via others. 

It sounds absurd, but here is why you need this:

a. It gives you a clear perspective of the relationship and what you want

After a breakup, you must feel overwhelmed with a lot of emotions. Mostly, these emotions will trick you into doing silly things.

Taking this time off would help you get a hold of your emotions and gain a clear perspective of your relationship with your ex.

This is also the time when you figure out if you want them because it is right or is it just because you feel lonely. 

b. It gives them time and space to think straight and get a chance to miss you

If you don’t give someone the chance or space to miss you, they wouldn’t know that they miss you or need you in their lives.

You may feel that this no-contact period will wipe you off their memory, but you are wrong. If anything, it will make them feel your absence and leave them wondering why you won’t contact them.

Anything otherwise makes you needy and clingy. Also, your partner did ask you for a breakup, right? Give it to them. 

c. It gives you time to rebuild yourself – mentally and physically

Keep in mind that nothing is more attractive than a happy, healthy, and confident person who loves their life and knows how to live it with joy under any circumstances.

When you meet your ex after the break, you don’t want them to feel you have been miserable without them.

Instead, you want to be attracted to your refreshed look, dazzling smile, and positive vibes. They should know what they are missing out on. 

Step 3: Work on your strengths 

Most of the time, individuals often wonder what to do during this no contact duration. It is usual for you to wonder the same too.

Here is a simple answer. You learn to love yourself during this time. And, no matter what, don’t stay at home and be miserable.

Yes, you need to grieve but it doesn’t mean you lock yourself in your room for the next one month and drown yourself in sorrow.

a. Redefine yourself 

Bring positive changes in your appearance. Always wanted to get that stylish haircut and add some color? Have you been feeling like joining the gym or taking a yoga class?

Want to change your wardrobe? Thinking of spending time with friends? Why not! Now is the time that you stop worrying about someone else for once and live your life the way it makes you happy. 

b. Find a passion

Before you start to think about reviving your relationship, you must spend time doing the things you love and are passionate about.

You must strive to get your individuality back before you get your ex back. Only when you truly feel happy from within would you be able to reflect that on your face and gestures.

And, your ex must see that glow when he meets you next, isn’t it?

c. Work on your behavior and habits

Another important reason that you need this lack of contact is to work on your issues, not just for now but to be happy in the long run.

Let’s be honest here and accept that there are probably habits and behavioral issues that could have added up in pushing your ex away – jealousy, insecurity, controlling nature, inadequate social and communication skills, trust issues, and even commitment phobia. 

If you feel you suffer from any of these concerns, it is time that you bring positivity to your behavior as well as your habits. They would not only help you with getting your ex back but also to live a better life.

And, keep in mind, no matter your strong feelings of wanting them back right now, unless you work through your issues, they will leave again. 

d. Analyze your relationship

Before you claim your undying love for your ex and start doing everything you can to win them back, it is important that you learn the difference between being in love and merely missing their presence in your life.

The key to a healthy relationship is to know its strengths and weaknesses so you can benefit from the strengths and repair the weaknesses. 

Instead of listening to your panicked mind or sore heart, try logic. Take a pen and paper and write down the pros and cons of your ex-partner as well as your relationship with them. Don’t rush.

Take hours or even days to write down every single factor that you can think of. Don’t rule out anything as unimportant. Only when you feel comfortable that your relationship is worth saving and that your partner is truly the one, make a decision. 

If you talk to your ex casually for some time and they don’t bring up the topic of getting back together, you may feel like they would friend zone you.

Don’t let this feeling cloud your judgment or actions. Keep your calm and be patient. Let them express how much they missed you and would want you back. And, once you have the upper hand, move things smoothly between the two of you. 

Step 4: Contact your ex with the right message at the right time 

When your ex left you, you were broken, needy, and miserable even. That is the image they had of you for the longest time.

But the more time passes with no communication from you, the more they start to forget that image and start missing all the nice things about you. That is a good time to make an entrance.

But, before you do that, ensure that you have actually brought a positive change in your life and appearance. And, that you are stronger and more confident than you were when they left you.

Also, at this point, you must be absolutely sure that you are trying to get back with a person you want a life with and not someone you don’t live but only miss. 

Additionally, it helps if you have been on a date with at least one new person during this time. This isn’t about cheating or getting revenge on your ex for leaving you.

It is just to weigh your options and see if you really need them back or is it possible for you to engage in a romantic relationship with someone new. 

Furthermore, when you finally decide to start communicating, ensure that you don’t rush through anything. Have casual chats and meet at public places.

Avoid going to places from the past that could conjure up memories or make them feel that you intend to win them back. Play nice and cool yet stand your ground. If they make the first move, don’t get overexcited. 

6 Things To Do After Contacting Your Ex?

After you craft the right message for contacting your ex, there are two possible scenarios – either they will respond or not respond.

If they respond with negativity, saying they do not want to be involved with you anymore, it is a good time to accept the truth and move on.

Because if you continue pursuing this person further, you will only catch disappointment and hurt. Respect their boundaries and accept that they are not the one for you.

It will be hard in the beginning, because you have built a life with them and you have dreamt of a future with them, but not all dreams come true. 

And maybe it will be for the better. Maybe you will find someone who loves you for who you are and gives you hope again.

The important thing is to not let this get you down, to gear up and focus on becoming a better version of yourself. Because only when you love yourself. you can find someone who will love you too. 

The second scenario is where your ex responds with positivity. They want to meet you and resolve things. Maybe they want to move ahead with you.

Or they want to explore what went wrong. In such cases, you have to proceed with caution. Because there is a lot of drama buried in the relationship, and if you decide to move forward, you will have to deal with it.

Here are some do’s and don’t for when you meet your ex after the breakup:

1. Take things slow

Do not rush into your old ways. Treat yourself as a new couple. Build a strong foundation this time by changing your behavior towards each other and practicing healthy communication. 

2. Do not forget why you broke up with each other the first time around

It may feel like it is a fresh start, but remember that you both have a lot of history behind it. And if you are not careful, it will all come rushing back.

Make sure you have a conversation about the breakup early on, just to get it out of the way. 

3. Make sure you are both committed

You may be the one who pursued your ex and tried to get them to talk, but you have to remember that a relationship is always two-sided. If your ex is not fully on board, do not move forward.

Make sure that you are both willing to do what needs to be done to improve your relationship. If only you are willing to change your habits but your ex is still adamant, there is only so much that can improve.

Whatever made you break up the first time around needs to be changed – and it needs to be done by both of you. Otherwise, you will just end up breaking up again. 

4. Do not think that it will be easy

As much as you would like to believe that things will be fine, they may not be. Think of it as getting into a completely new relationship, and make sure you are prepared to start fresh.

Because you two have a lot of baggage, and you will have to work through it to get on the other side. 

Both of you have to be willing to put in the effort for getting rid of this baggage. One person cannot do it alone.

You both have to put each other first, take the good with the bad, and hope that you will come out of it one day. 

5. Understand your expectations from each other

Have a conversation about why you two decided to get back together. Discuss your motivations and reasoning behind it, and make sure both of you are on the same page. Otherwise, it is just a disaster waiting to happen, again. 

Talk to each other in detail about what both of you want from this relationship. What are aiming to achieve, both of you? Would you want each other to change certain habits?

Do you want to incorporate some new things? And do you want a long term commitment, or do you want to keep it open for the time being?

The more the two of you get honest with your needs and desires, the more you will understand whether it is a good idea to stay, or move on. 

6. Don’t tell friends and family for a while

Until you have both reached a point where your issues are resolved, it is best not to involve friends and family. This is because during the breakup, they may have developed their own opinions about the two of you.

While they are not wrong to want to protect you from the hurt again, the truth is that what goes on in a relationship can only be understood by the people in it. 

Therefore, it is best to hold back on announcing anything to your closed ones until you are both sure about each other again.

You may feel the need to share your emotions and discuss your situation with your loved ones, but understand that the lack of an outside opinion may actually be beneficial for your relationship. 

How To Get Your Ex boyfriend Back and How To Get Your Ex girlfriend Back

So far, we have generically spoken about getting your ex-partner back, meaning that these rules would apply in every scenario.

However, it is true that the psychology of a man works differently than a woman. Which is why what works for women may not work for a man.

In other words, the steps a man takes to win his ex-girlfriend back may not be the same as the steps a woman takes to win her ex-boyfriend back. 

That being said, the following table describes how to get your ex back – both for men and women.

How to get your ex-boyfriend back?How to get your ex-girlfriend back?
Don’t be needy and miserable by calling and texting them constantlyTry not to show that you are weak and can’t live without them
Do not rush into getting him back by accepting to submit to his demands Do not follow her like a lost puppy and lose your respect in the process
Focus on what you want with him in the future than what went wrong in the pastWork on your health. You don’t have to build muscles overnight, but at least, look presentable
Understand how to use ‘no contact’ for your benefit and give them a chance to miss youDo not mess up your work life and lose your job. No woman can respect a man who has no aspirations or career
Try not to ‘accidentally’ bump into him or hang out with his mates to try to meet himDon’t try to make her jealous by hooking up with random women. It could further push her away
Work on yourself – looks, hobbies, behavior. Let him see the new you and realize that he wants the ‘new you’Groom yourself. Most women complain that their ex wouldn’t shave or clip their nails
Get in shape. A few extra inches may have felt fine when you two were still together, but it is time you lose it, so he notices what he lost.Upgrade your wardrobe. Nobody wants to get back with a guy who looks homeless.
How To Get Your Ex boyfriend Back and How To Get Your Ex girlfriend Back

Final Thoughts

The road to winning your ex back is a bit tough as it takes into account a lot of unresolved emotions and feelings.

But, by allowing yourself to follow the process, you earn yourself a greater chance of getting back with the one you love.

And, in the process, you also reconnect with yourself and learn to live your life independently. After all, we only love and respect those who know how to love and respect themselves.

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