Let’s cut the crap: the chances of getting back with your ex are pitiful. So you don’t want to make any post-breakup mistakes whatsoever that lower them even more. And the way you make fewer post-breakup mistakes is to grow mindful of those already out there and that people keep making. Below are 20 of the most common ones I came across.
1. Begging (Or Pleading)
Regardless of the contents of your text, call, or in-person conversation, begging your ex to come back is the equivalent of throwing an atomic bomb on their attraction.
You can’t force your ex to love you. You can’t force them to go out with you. You can’t even force them to pay any pay attention to you. No amount of begging will change their mind about these things.
Quite the contrary: begging will only make them resent you more. This is because through begging them to come back, you’re sub-communicating a lack of self-respect and, perhaps more importantly, that you have nothing else going on in your life other than pursuing them.
2. Hiding behind false intentions
Tell me what these texts are communicating. (Hint: look at the intention behind them, not the words.)
- “I just saw this movie, and it reminded me of you.”
- “How’s your family doing? I’m really worried about him.”
- “Did your dad heal his broken foot yet? I hope he’s okay.”
We both know the real intention behind these messages.
It’s not about your ex’s movie, dog, or dad. It’s about you escaping limbo-land and getting clarity about the chances of getting back together. You don’t care about them; you only care whether or not they still like you.
Newsflash: your ex instantly senses your true intention behind those texts or even the words you say amid your call. And as soon as they do and figure you out, their attraction plummets, and resentment begins looming over any thought they have of you.
3. Chasing And Pursuing
Chasing and pursuing your ex is probably the most common post-breakup mistake out there, and it’s never ever attractive. Four texts in a row won’t get your ex back any faster. A giant wall of text out of the blue won’t either. Nor will ten calls in a day.
Here’s my pet theory: most people lose their ex because they’ve constantly chased and pursued them (See: needy control freaks). So odds are, you’re in the same boat.
If you are, answer me this: how would doing more chasing and pursuing — more of what you’ve already been doing — give you any different result?
Well, It won’t. So stop chasing and pursuing your ex all the goddamn time.
4. Making grand gestures
Taking your ex on an extravagant dinner date on a bigass yacht with fireworks blasting the sky, bands of singling sailors around you, and Gordon fucking Ramsay prepping the food sure as shit feels like it’s going to solve all your relationship problems, but wake up for a second.
Life’s not a movie.
In real life, if you prepare some grand date for your ex, you’re not going to see the fat cupids gliding down from heaven, bows in hand, arrows ready.
No. You’re going to see your ex squirming in disgust and labeling you a creep, a try-hard, or a spinless codependent pleaser. And then they’ll reject you and probably never talk to you again.
Save the grand gestures for an actual partner, not an ex. You know, someone who actually deserves them and has a lengthy and active track record of making you feel loved and appreciated.
5. Giving Ultimatums
Ultimatums are demands for a behavioral change accompanied by a threat. The goal behind them is to pressure the other person into doing something they don’t want to do.
An example of an ultimatum would be when you tell your ex, “Either we get back together this week, or I’m never talking to you again!” Or when you tell them, “If you don’t message me back, I’m busting through your door and kicking your teeth in.”
Ultimatums truly are the most glaring sign of desperation. And communicating them to your ex is not only selfish and mean but also a surefire strategy to lose them forever.
6. Turning into a Codependent
A Codependent is someone who is addicted to their ex. It’s a person with little to no sense of self-respect or self-esteem that lacks even the most basic personal boundaries.
A codependent person mortgages their own identity in order to fulfill the identity of their ex. They put their needs last and their ex’s needs first. And they are prone to being taken advantage of, be that financially or emotionally.
They are also generally attracted to people with deep pain and psychological issues because they see this pain and psychological issues as an opportunity to be needed and loved themselves — for they can’t meet those needs on their own, by themselves.
The lesson? Don’t let yourself turn into a codependent. As soon as you find yourself acting along the lines of one, become aware of it, and consider radically changing your behavior, as well as the intentions behind it.
7. Cyber Stalking
Here’s how most people rationalize stalking their ex on social media: “I’m just going to check their profile. It’s okay… I’m over them. I just want to see if they posted any updates about their lost puppy and stuff.”
Yeah, surely a fucking dog is the reason you’re cyber stalking them. And yeah, you probably really are over them if you say so. …You’re not fooling anyone here.
Look, for now, you should refrain from looking at your ex’s social media accounts. If you fail to do this, you’ll likely develop a sick tendency to overanalyze and overthink everything about their posts, which will then make you suffer even more.
8. Using Tricks And Games
Use a curiosity hook in your texting exchanges. Remind your ex of a happy and positive memory you’ve shared. Make them jealous. Use pre-prepared texts and scripts. When they reach out, wait X hours before responding. Act indifferent. Play hard-to-get. Avoid “unsafe” topics when on a date with them. Let getting back together be their idea. And more…
Is this what passes as reliable “get your ex back” advice nowadays? Are people that fucking stupid? Is our generation filled with quick-fix-solution junkies with no morals? Or am I just too old to understand this?
Here’s my advice: Stop actively trying to get your ex to text you back. Stop counting the days of no contact. Stop ignoring them when they reach out. Stop using stupid formulated texts and scripts. Stop avoiding any “unsafe” topics on your dates. Stop blindly following rules. Stop acting indifferent. Stop with all the hard-to-get shit.
Just grow the fuck up.
9. Reaching Out after being dumped
If there’s one piece of ex-back advice that I would crown as most retarded, it’s the one on waiting a certain period of time before contacting your ex after they’ve dumped you — a.k.a., doing time-limited no contact, or “active no contact.”
While I have written an entire section of why I think time-based no contact is dumb as shit in this article, for now, I’ll only report on what you should do instead.
So, once your ex dumped you, communicate you want them back and avoid accepting friendship or any other alternative. If they can’t give you what you want or are unwilling to, you need to walk away and never look back — a.k.a., you never ever contact your ex again for any reason.
As Corey Wayne, one of the foremost experts on this topic would say, “walking away and never looking back is the strongest (in your case, most attractive) negotiating position in any professional or personal human interaction.” (1)
10. Posting how great you’re doing on social media
There’s a lot of advice on the internet that encourages how you should use social media as a way of showing your ex how much you’ve grown since your breakup. Particularly, it encourages that you post pictures of yourself having fun, meeting new people, going to new places, and so on, with the aim of sparking your ex’s interest, maybe even jealousy.
Well, this advice is stupid as fuck. And here’s why.
- It puts focus on your ex instead of you, which leads to more stress and prolonged breakup recovery.
- It makes you look needy and desperate.
- It reinforces the faulty belief that you need to impress and prove yourself to your ex to get them back.
- It equates to breaking no contact since the definition of no contact is “cutting your ex out of your life.”
- It’s a pretty clear form of emotional manipulation.
If these aren’t good enough reasons why posting stuff on social media and hoping that your ex sees them and elicits a reaction, consider the following: if you never posted a lot of stuff on social media before and now you, out of the blue, started posting it, be that repeatedly or intermittently, your ex will eventually discern what you’re doing. At which point they will lose all attraction for you. No one likes to be deceived, after all.
11. Forcing Friendship
Not much needs to be said on this post-breakup mistake since I’ve written an entire article on being friends with an ex previously. But I will say this: don’t force it. It’s a big post-breakup mistake.
Only attempt being friends with your ex when there’s absolutely no shred of wanting to get back together present in both of you. In other words, when you’re both over each other.
And no, you can’t use friendship as a backdoor to a new, rekindled relationship. As I’ve argued many times, it’s a losing game that always ends in an eerie concoction of pain, confusion, and alienation.
12. Forcing Closure
A lot of people want to get their ex to provide the answers to why they’ve dumped them. Don’t be this person. Sometimes there’s no specific reason why your ex dumped you. Sometimes there is one, but they lie about it. Other times they tell you that reason, and then, shockingly, you’re still not satisfied.
Relax, this is actually pretty normal.
You don’t get closure when your ex gives you all the answers that you’re dying to know. You get closure when you make peace with your breakup. Closure is not something found in your ex. It’s something found in your attitude towards them.
At its simplest, closure is found within you, not in your ex, friends, family, or even the mailman.
13. Buying gifts
Most people try to buy their ex a bunch of gifts (flowers, expensive chocolates, clothes, video games, etc.), and it usually just comes off needy. Mainly because the sole reason they buy them is to get their ex to like them again.
Their gifts are not unconditional gestures of appreciation but bribes for love and affection. They give them because they’re too weak to express their true feelings or because they think they’re somehow going to trick their ex into coming back with them.
Spoiled: your ex can sense toxic intentions like these, and they will run far, far away from you when they do.
Now, am I saying that it’s right to give your ex a gift unconditionally? No. Buying romantic gifts is a gesture reserved for a partner, not a mere ex. To be crystal clear: never buy your ex gifts, especially when you’re buying them with unhealthy intentions.
14. Trying to smash
A lot of people think that if they keep having some form of a sexual relationship with their ex, they will eventually be able to repair their romantic relationship.
This is a far cry from the truth.
Sleeping with your ex, like being friends or even friends with benefits with them, only leads to unnecessary emotional turmoil and prolonged breakup recovery. So don’t do it.
Note: if you’re someone who has a lot of dating experience and knows they won’t fall in love with their ex at first sight of them, consider being friends with benefits with your ex or having an open relationship. However, this option is only viable and healthy for a minority of people. Tread carefully.
15. Sending a handwritten letter
As far as I know, the handwritten letter technique was coined and popularised by the fake “ex-back” gurus behind WMXA.com. The idea goes that in it, you write about the mistakes you’ve made that led to the breakup, how much you want your ex back, and how sorry you are for doing whatever to them. And then you send them the letter.
I’m not going to lie: sending your ex a handwritten letter of any sort is pretty fucking desperate. It doesn’t work for virtually anyone. I’ve tried it, my clients tried it, my readers tried it, and it never worked out in our favor.
The whole handwritten letter technique is just a way for WMXA.com to differentiate itself from the competition, creep into people’s minds faster, and acquire more sales.
Now, am I saying that trying to differentiate yourself from the competition is somehow unethical in business? Of course not. I’m only saying it’s unethical in this case since the means by which WMXA.com is differentiating itself is harmful to their potential customers — it illuminates the sickening values behind the brand. Profit over useful advice.
16. Arguing and fighting
Everyone gets pissed off to some degree after they’ve broken up with someone they love. So it’s without a doubt easy to start arguing with your ex whenever you interact.
But you must reel yourself in, in those moments. Arguing with your ex only leads to the downfall of any chances you had of getting back together. It’s a classic post-breakup mistake many people make. Even I made it at some point.
If you want your ex back, you must overcome your anger, set aside your ego, stop being defensive, and turn toward the person with acceptance and curiosity rather than resentment and bitterness.
If you fail to do this, you may say or do something that you regret later. Don’t get yourself into that situation.
17. Trying to make Them Feel Better
Once your relationship is over, your ex’s emotions are not your responsibility anymore. You shouldn’t help them cope. You shouldn’t try to make them feel better. You shouldn’t try comforting them.
Not only should you not do these because they violate your ex’s personal boundaries, but you also shouldn’t do them because you’d likely just make your ex feel worse in the process.
For now, the more proximity there is between the two of you — the closer you are physically and emotionally — the worse your odds of getting back together get.
Right now, what you need is space away from each other to ponder on your breakup and think this reconciliation thing through, or else you’re just going to buttfuck your relationship away again.
18. Being A raging Asshole
Being a raging asshole is a post-breakup mistake consisting of trying to get revenge on your ex, badmouthing them, making shit up about them, spreading false and offensive rumors, or publicly comparing them to your previous exes.
You don’t need me to tell you that you’re an A-grade asshole for even attempting to do one of these things. My best advice is to forgive your ex, accept that they’re gone, and focus on yourself.
If you end up being an asshole and word comes to them or they figure you out, their attraction will swiftly take a nosedive, and you’ll lose them for good — which is understandable. So don’t be an asshole. It’s that simple.
19. Thinking you’ll get them back quickly
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that getting their ex back will be quick and easy, like a fucking walk in the park. If only that was the case…
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that getting an ex back is a long and grueling process that is highly unlikely to come to fruition. And even if you, by some miracle, do get them back, the odds of keeping them are slim.
Therefore, since you want your ex back, the best course of action would be losing all hope of getting them back. Literally pretend that they’re gone forever.
This mentality will help you get them back sooner since you won’t be as prone to acting desperate as you would if you would expect your ex to come crawling back. On top of that, the mentality will even keep unnecessary stress, frustration, and pain at bay.
20. Being An Emotional Idiot
This is by far the biggest post-breakup mistake that I have seen. If you want to get back with your ex — hell, if you want to have a healthy and lasting relationship ever, you have to jump headfirst into self-improvement.
You must figure out why your previous relationship failed. You must overcome your shame, anxiety, and intimacy problems. You must rebuild your self-esteem and confidence. You must become more self-aware, empathetic, emotionally intelligent, and resilient. You must get your well-being in order — your sleep, diet, and mental health. You must learn how to set solid personal boundaries, discover who you’re compatible with, how to love the right way. And above all, you must uncover who you really are, what you value, what you fucking stand for.
Self-improvement is paramount when you’re trying to get your ex back. Yet, most people still ignore this; they instead try to pull down their proverbial blinders and shut themselves off from the harsh light of the truth.
“Fuck self-improvement,” they say! “I want my ex back now!” So they hunt down all the tricks, tips, tactics, the mind games they can find. All while neglecting the fact that if they get their ex back by those unethical ways, the chances of keeping them are next to nothing.
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