Click play to listen to this article.
So this is probably, like, the 37th article you’ve read on this topic. And you’re likely pretty sick and tired of trying to figure out how to get your ex back already.
I get it.
A lot of advice out there claims that you can re-attract an ex by simply waiting a few days, playing hard to get for a while, sending a couple of scripted texts, faking a bit of confidence and indifference, maybe making an attempt to get them jealous, and BAM! Your ex is back in your arms, loving and lusting all over you.
These are what I call performance behaviors, essentially a collection of tricks, tactics, techniques, and fakery. And while they sometimes help re-attract your ex, they simultaneously prevent you from ever forming a healthy and lasting relationship with them.
After all, they’re based on manipulation and self-objectification. On the one hand, you’re projecting this false representation of yourself to your ex. On the other, you’re treating yourself as nothing but a robot putting in the correct inputs and shitting out the correct outputs.
But above all, the more you focus on performance, the likelier it is you’ll forget about the things that actually matter when getting back with an ex: addressing and resolving the incompatibilities and emotional baggage that ended your relationship originally. It’s due to the negligence of these components that most people never mend their relationship.
So rather than agonizing over performance and overlooking the required internal work, my approach to re-attraction is through self-improvement. Because it’s not about what you say or do; it’s about who you become that gets your ex back — what you stand for, represent, and embody. Your words and actions should only be an extension of who you become. In and of themselves, they mean nothing.
Think about it this way. If you’re a lazy, whiny, socially awkward, out-of-shape slob with low self-esteem, you won’t get far with your ex — even if you apply all the best performance behaviors. Whereas if you’re responsible, confident, in-shape, ambitious, and happy, you’ll get much farther than the slob — even if you apply no performance behaviors.
In other words, it’s not about acting attractive that gets your ex back; it’s about actually becoming attractive that gets them back.
Now becoming attractive may sound vague and abstract, but while emotionally difficult, it’s actually quite simple. And it all boils down to embodying six key principles — principles I’ll explain below.
Note: If you’d like to learn how to get your ex back through a different format, here’s a YouTube video explaining this article. Enjoy.
Principle #1: Tell Your Ex That You Want Them Back
Whether it’s through a call, text, letter, social media, or in-person… Whether it’s been one week since your breakup or ten years… Whether your ex told you they never want to see you again, left in stark indifference, or with tears in their eyes… Whether they dumped you or you dumped them…
… If you want your ex back but haven’t yet made it clear, just tell them you want them back.
Don’t beat around the bush. Don’t make it a big deal. Don’t lose your center, become spineless, or act overly confident and become an overcompensating dipshit. Just be authentic and bold and say what’s in your heart without expecting any specific answer in return or recoiling and retaliating if met with either a deafening silence or a sharp rejection.
Here’s something you could say to your ex if they dumped you:
Hey there, XYZ. This is kind of random… Forgive me for being honest, but I must get this off my chest. I love you, miss you, and truly want to make things work between us. If you’re ever feeling the same way, let me know, and we can try again. My door is open for you. In any case, thanks for everything.
And here’s something you could say if you dumped your ex but now regret the decision:
Hey there, XYZ. I’ve been thinking, and honestly, I’m sorry for dumping you. It wasn’t right of me. I made a mistake. If you’re still interested in making things work between us, let me know. I want you back, and I love you. My door is open for you. Thanks for everything.
Whether you frame these expressions of interest as questions or statements doesn’t matter. As long as you’re direct, honest, and certain when you express them, you’re doing it right.
Additional Advice For When You Tell Your Ex You Want Them Back
Know when to apologize to your ex. If you cheated, lied, or did something devious to your ex, add a genuine apology to your statement of interest. Acknowledge how you’ve hurt them and what you’ve learned from the incident. Then promise not to repeat your mistake(s) and keep that promise. Don’t be dramatic when apologizing, and do it only once.
Don’t settle for friendship. If your ex insists on being friends after you express your interest, communicate you only want to see them romantically. If they’re unwilling to continue seeing you this way, tell them to get in touch if they ever change their mind. Then let them go forever and never contact them again for any reason. It’s either romance or nothing.
Don’t try to make your ex feel better about the breakup. Their emotions are not your responsibility. You shouldn’t comfort or help them cope if they’re struggling. You’re not their therapist. Besides, you’d likely just make them feel worse.
Don’t beg or plead with your ex to give you another chance. You can’t force your ex to love you. You can’t force them to go out with you. You can’t force them to pay attention to you. No amount of begging or pleading will change their mind about these things. They will only resent you more for it.
Don’t chase and pursue your ex. Same deal as above. Four texts in a row won’t get your ex back any faster, nor will ten calls in a day. Since you’re reading this article, your ex probably isn’t ready to take you back yet. Therefore, how will nagging them change your situation. Spoiler alert: it won’t. It’ll only annoy them further.
Don’t be mean to your ex if they don’t want you back. No passive aggressiveness, no snarkiness, no talking behind their back, no spreading false rumors, no public comparisons with your other exes — be respectful and handle rejection like a grown ass adult.
Know when to move forward with your ex. If your ex is receptive and enthusiastic after you express your interest, invite them on a date (and jump to principle #5).
Know when to back off from your ex. If after expressing your interest, your ex is unreceptive and cold, mean and vicious, or they blocked, ghosted/ignored, or rejected you — be it indirectly (via excuses) or directly (“I don’t want you back”) — end the conversation and move on. Then only give them another shot if they reach out first. If that happens, go to principle #5.
Principle #2: Move On With Your Life (Apply The No Contact Rule)
Moving on with your life — or, as many call it, applying the no contact rule — is arguably the hardest part of re-attraction. Mainly because of the debilitating insecurity it ignites in most people. Yet it’s also the most attractive thing one can do after telling their ex they want them back and being met with an unreciprocated response, no response, or rejection.
The theory goes that once you move on, your ex will eventually wonder why they haven’t heard from you yet. After all, they probably expect you to cave and chase after them since they have all t he power. Once curiosity like this enters the picture, there’s a good chance they’ll start to miss you.
And if they do start to miss you — thanks to the fading affect bias and the rose-colored glasses phenomenon — they’ll gradually shift their focus from the negative aspects of your relationship to the positive, making them more receptive to reaching out and easier to get back together with. (1) (2)
So in a way, moving on rebalances the entire relational dynamic in your favor. Even better, it enables you to heal faster and buys you plenty of time to reflect on why your relationship failed and what you’d need to change or improve to make it succeed the next time.
Now moving on with your life means exactly what you think it does: you let your ex go and never contact them again for any reason. Or, to be more specific, as I wrote in my no contact article, from now on you stick to the following.
- Don’t call, text, or engage with your ex’s social media anymore (unfriend and unfollow them).
- Don’t go to places where you’d have an “accidental” encounter with them.
- Don’t wish them a happy birthday, Easter, Christmas, etc.
- Don’t express your condolences if they lose someone close to them.
- Hide everything that reminds you of them that’s within your control.
- Don’t go to places that draw out painful memories.
- Throw away or return everything your ex gave you (gifts, random clothes, trinkets, etc.).
Generally, the more physical and emotional distance you put between your ex and yourself, the faster you’ll heal and the more likely it is that you’ll raise their attraction, get them to miss you, and reach out. Whereas, the less distance there is between you, the slower you’ll heal and the less likely it is that you’ll raise their attraction, get them to miss you, and reach out.
Put another way: the best way to get somebody’s attention is to remove yours.
Additional Advice For When You Move On/Apply The No Contact Rule
Consider logistics. If you live with your ex, move out or move them out. If that’s impossible, only talk to them if it’s important. Keep your conversations business-like, to the point, and end them as soon as you make a mutually beneficial agreement or decision. Take the same approach if you share kids, pets, or you work together.
Handle mutual friends correctly. Either cut them loose or distance yourself from them. But don’t just disappear or distance yourself abruptly. Explain how you want to heal and how staying in touch prevents you from doing so first. There’s no shame in pain, so just admit you’re hurting. That said, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily owe anyone an explanation or justification for your actions.
Don’t ignore your ex. Provided they don’t have ill intent, always answer their texts and calls. Be human. Just don’t forget that your goal during every interaction is setting a definite date (principle #5).
Don’t freak out and reach out to your ex if they start dating or get into another relationship. This is bound to happen sooner or later and you can’t do anything about it. So focus on what you can control instead — personal growth and recovery are your best bets. Also, talking of relationships, maybe you’re lucky and your ex gets into a rebound relationship, in which case it’ll end in a few weeks, as most don’t last.
Don’t invent fake reasons to contact your ex. For example, “I just saw this movie, and it reminded me of you,” or “How’s your dog doing? I’m worried about him.” We both know the real intentions behind these statements. It’s not about the movie or the damn dog. It’s about you getting clarity on the chances of getting back together. Be warned: your ex instantly senses needy intentions like these, and they will lose attraction due to them.
Don’t jump to stupid conclusions as soon as your ex gives a hint of interest. For instance, when your ex likes your new profile picture, don’t suddenly think, “OMG! They still love me! I better call them and say hi.” The whole thing could very well mean absolutely nothing. Have enough self-respect to give your ex another chance only when they contact you directly.
Manage rumination well. Whenever you find yourself obsessing over your ex, cyber-stalking them, or overthinking and overanalyzing what they’ve said or done, gently remind yourself to focus on some other, more productive thought. Then quickly turn to a healthy distraction like exercise, reading, singing, cooking, or playing with pets or children. Bonus points if your distraction involves moving your body!
Know that any X-day no contact rule is bullshit. I already explained the strange popularity, ineffectiveness, and lies behind the X-day no contact rule in this article, this one, and this one. But to give a recap: it’s a marketing ploy. People don’t want to hear how their ex should show willingness to rekindle things by reaching out first before they consider giving them another shot. No, they want to hear what feels good! Wait 30 days or so and reach out. And since this feel-good bullshit that objectively doesn’t work and only makes you come across as a desperate idiot sells more ex-back products than the painful truth, most “experts“ working in this slimy industry swear by it.
Principle #3: Invest in your relationship with yourself
The more you invest in yourself, the more attractive you’ll become. But you need to do it with the right intentions. If you improve yourself solely to impress your ex to return or because you want to prove something, they’ll probably perceive you as less attractive. Whereas if you improve yourself for yourself — because you actually want to — they’ll probably perceive you as more attractive.
Below are a few self-investment guidelines if you don’t know where to start. Just note that even if your ex is receptive after stating your interest (principle #1) or if they reach out during no contact, in both cases triggering the green light for a date invite (principle #5), do not neglect this principle. You should invest in yourself regardless of where in the re-attraction process you reside.
1. Take Care Of The Basics
Get quality sleep. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night and stick to a consistent schedule. Sleep in a pitch-black room, at an ambient temperature of 65–70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 18-21 degrees Celsius). Avoid screens at least 1 to 2 hours before bedtime. Use natural sleep aids like melatonin pills, magnesium tablets, chamomile tea, or a white noise machine. Limit napping, especially in the late afternoon or evening. Avoid stimulants, stodgy food, and alcohol 3-4 hours before bedtime.
Have a healthy diet. This boils down to eating mostly unprocessed, natural, fresh foods that humans are biologically designed to eat. Foods like meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats. Avoid everything else — or at least limit it.
Go heavy on exercise. It eases anxiety and depression, improves focus and mood, helps you sleep, causes you to lose weight, guarantees you live longer, and makes you more attractive. So whether your goal is to lose weight, get in shape, or simply reap the various health benefits of exercise, make it a permanent day-to-day habit.
Keep your hygiene in check. In short, be clean and presentable. A breakup is no excuse for being a slob. Remember: conspicuous precision in hygiene is a key signal of conscientiousness, which is sexy as hell.
Take care of your well-being. If you don’t have any hobbies, go get some or re-engage in old ones. If you’re overworked, take some time off. If you still live with your parents, but are of the ripe age and have the means for it, move out. If you don’t have any responsibilities like studies, work, or child-rearing, go and get some.
For a full guide on getting these areas in order, read: A No Bullshit Guide To Self-Care After A Breakup.
2. Calm Yourself Down
Taming your emotions is vital. Because if you let them rip and give into panic, you’ll increase the odds of sabotaging your re-attraction attempts by saying or doing something stupid. Some effective ways for calming down include journaling, meditation, gratitude practices, yoga, pain-engagement, and therapy.
Another perk of these modalities is that they help you develop a high level of detachment to whether you’re met with a temporary rejection or fail to rekindle your relationship completely. They help you develop the ability to reign yourself in and calmly choose what emotions you let affect you and what you don’t let affect you — even when it hurts.
Talking of responding to your emotions…
3. Learn To Respond Well To Your Emotions
You probably stumbled across guides teaching you how to stop feeling excited when your ex calls, how to prevent nervousness when you meet them, how to not be jealous when they start dating other people, or how to hold back anger when they tease, test, or block you.
Notice how these things are all framed as “How do I avoid my emotions?” The truth is you can’t avoid them. And besides, having them is normal — so that’s not the problem. The problem is the behavior that your emotions elicit.
For instance, instead of trying to stop being excited when your ex reaches out, try to stop displaying needy behavior due to excitement. Or instead of trying to suppress your anger because your ex didn’t show up for your date, suppress the violent behaviors that you want to carry out.
4. Find Something More Important Than Your Ex
One of the best ways to become more attractive to your ex is to find something more important and meaningful than getting them back — something that gives you direction and purpose despite your breakup and keeps you centered.
This something can be many things: fighting for a cause you believe in, being part of a movement, nurturing another relationship, excelling in your career, engaging some passion, mastering a particular skill, developing some healthy habit, and so forth.
Now the way you find this something is simple, but it does take time and effort. I suggest you start by blocking out 30 minutes of your day each day to think about what you want to do with your life. This is an intimidating prospect for some, but that’s only because we rarely think about it. Give it a stab, and see what you can come up with.
5. Form And Lean On Your Support System
Put differently, find empathic and caring people you trust and feel safe to open up to who are willing to listen to your problems and provide heartfelt advice and support. These can be friends, family, peers, or professionals like therapists or counselors.
Once you have a support system in place, lean on it — ask for support, a listening ear, or advice. Just don’t be forceful about it, and don’t expect that everyone has the answers you’re searching for.
6. Start Dating As Soon As Reasonable
Dating is another great way to become more attractive in your ex’s eyes. But don’t start dating right away. I suggest waiting until the idea begins to feel fun and exciting. The last thing you want is to date only to suppress your pain, feel loved again, or prove something to yourself or your ex. That’s a way one ticket to perpetual misery.
Now the true beauty of dating after your breakup is that it pushes you away from the unhealthy scarcity mentality (when you think your ex is their only opportunity for a relationship out there) and pulls you closer to the healthy abundance mentality (when you recognize that regardless of how great your ex is, there are an infinite amount of people like them out there).
This is important because the more abundant your mentality around your ex is, the more assertively and confidently, and thus attractively, you’ll behave.
7. Develop Character
I define character as having a set of interesting hobbies, passions, opinions, and desires that make you stand out when compared to other potential mates your ex has available.
Why is this important? Because it’s standing out that demonstrates investment into yourself. And it’s this investment that fundamentally makes you attractive. So here are some decent starting points for developing character.
- Come up with deeper, more intellectual opinions about stuff you’re interested in and don’t be afraid to share them.
- Assume everything has a form of value — from music, sports, movies, political opinions, various technologies, etc — and work on finding it.
- Continually expand your horizons by researching and engaging in things you would otherwise never research or engage in.
- Learn from educated perspectives by reading reviews, critiques, essays, and opinion pieces about what you’re trying to build better opinions around.
- Stop and think about why you like certain things and why some of them are more popular than others.
- Dive into new experiences and develop new tastes — and do so boldly.
For a full guide on character development, read: 6 Ways To Develop Character And Become More Attractive.
8. Raise Your Self-Worth And Lower Your Neediness
Most people develop something called an inferiority gap after their breakup. They begin to see their ex as above them and themselves as below them worthiness-wise. Put another way: they grow more invested in their ex’s perception of them than their perception of themselves and start prioritizing their ex’s beliefs, views, and thoughts instead of their own.
As you’d expect, it’s this inferiority gap that leads to diminished self-worth and amplified neediness. Now, the way you close it is through applying the following:
- Erecting and asserting healthy boundaries (basically stand up for yourself when necessary).
- Avoiding unattractive behaviors (covert contracts, chasing/pursuing, begging and pleading, acting indifferent, looking for approval, seeking validation, etc.).
- Overcoming limiting beliefs, especially those revolving around your inferiority or inadequacy.
- Cultivating proper vulnerability and unleashing it at every interaction you have with your ex or anyone.
- Applying the other guidelines I explained in this section. Duh!
9. Adopt A Better Mindset Around Getting An Ex Back
Before I tell you what this looks like, here’s a mindset you should absolutely avoid:
I have always been willing to do anything for my ex. I just feel so desperate. They are the one I want. I need to do anything and everything I can to get them back, no matter how long it takes. All I can think about is them. When should I reach out for another chance?
And here’s one of the many attractive mindsets you can (and should) adopt when trying to get your ex back:
I’m very proud of how I’m handling the breakup. And I actually wish nothing but the best for my ex, even if they find someone else. I know I would be totally fine if we didn’t get back together. Still, I do believe we could do something amazing together.
Now transitioning from a shade of a disempowering mindset to an empowering one is far from easy or quick, but it is thankfully simple. Apart from applying the rest of the tips from this article, consider engaging in more realistic self-talk and less self-critique and belittlement.
10. Feel Free To Hold On To Hope, Just Let Go Of Expectations
There’s this myth floating around the ex-back space that you should let go of all hope of getting back together with your ex. Now I get the reasoning behind this idea. In theory, losing hope in mending a relationship could make you behave more calmly, and therefore more attractively.
However, just cutting hope’s life support is more or less psychologically impossible. We just aren’t wired to be able to do it. Therefore, I propose a, in my opinion, better alternative: keep your hope, just release any expectations tied around reconciliation.
Here, try this little experiment and see what I mean: whenever you find yourself talking to yourself about how you expect re-attraction to go a certain, positive way, try rephrasing that self-talk to begin with I hope. For example, “I’ll get my ex back, I just need more time. → I hope I get my ex back. Maybe I just need more time.”
The cool thing about this little experiment is that you can also leverage it to improve your mood when dealing with more insidious expectations as opposed to positive ones. For example, “I’ll never get my ex back → I hope I’ll get back with my ex. Maybe I’ll get lucky.”
Principle #4: Ponder If Getting Back With Your Ex Is Even A Good Idea
Most people shouldn’t try to get back with their ex. That’s because an average person rarely ever mends things and usually only prolongs their healing through trying.
The only people qualified for the feat are those unattached to the outcome, content and happy with themselves, and who know that if they do get back with their ex, they could form a healthy relationship with them.
To determine whether or not you’re one of these lucky people, answer this for a start: why do you want your ex back? Take a few minutes and ponder on the question. Then reflect on the following.
Do you want them back because you’re afraid of being single? Because you’re miserable and lonely without them? Because can’t imagine having a happy life without them? Because you think you’ll never find anyone better? Or because you believe you’re not good, worthy, or skilled enough to find someone better?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you shouldn’t try to get back with your ex. You’re clearly not in the right headspace and will fail. Thus, I would focus on breakup recovery instead.
However, if you answered “No” to all the questions above, and you’re certain that despite missing your ex, you’re happy with yourself and unattached to whether or not you get them back, continue answering three additional qualifying questions.
- Are you and your ex compatible? If in doubt, read this article.
- Do you know why you broke up and are prepared to work on those flaws to avoid another breakup? If in doubt, read this article and this one.
- Are you and your ex mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy, and don’t have any major toxic tendencies that might damage your relationship? If in doubt, read this article and this one.
Now for the verdict. If you answered “Yes” to the questions above, you are qualified to pursue reconciliation — congrats. But if you answered any of them with a “No,” consider moving on. Because you probably won’t be mending any relationship.
Additional Advice For Those Unsure If They’re Qualified To Get Back With Their Ex
Here’s a nice little mental model to adopt. It’s called The Law Of Fuck Yes Or No. The idea is that if something isn’t a 100% FUCK yes, it’s a 100% FUCK no.
- Don’t know if your ex is compatible = a fuck no for getting back together.
- Unsure if they’re healthy and mature = a fuck no for giving them another shot.
- No idea why you broke up = a fuck no for mending things.
Note, however, that Fuck Yes or No will apply differently depending on where you are with your ex. For example, if you’re sure they’re incompatible or toxic, you may only be a “Fuck Yes” for fucking their brains out once or twice. Nothing wrong with that. Or you could be a “Fuck Yes” for giving them just one more chance and meeting up, despite the awkward date from last time.
If you think about it, Fuck Yes Or No is a byproduct of everything we have covered until now.
If your ex is into you, puts in the effort, and vice versa — it’s a “Yes” for mending your relationship. But if they’re in any capacity unable, unwilling, or unenthusiastic to help you do it, and if you’re in any capacity unable, unwilling, or unenthusiastic to help them do it, it’s a “No” for mending it.
Why? Because attractive, non-needy, high self-worth people don’t have time for exes who they are not able, willing, and excited to be with and who are not able, willing, and excited to be with them.
Ultimately, your willingness to assert and follow this mental model not only reflects your current level of self-respect and esteem but also bolsters self-respect and esteem. And that’s as sexy as it is useful and needed in re-attraction and relationships at large.
Principle #5: Set A Date If Your Ex Reaches Out Or Is Receptive After You Stated Your Interest
Suppose your ex reaches out during no contact and they’re not interested in discussing logistics like children, pets, living arrangements, work, or shared possessions but are curious about you as a person. That’s a clear sign of interest. It’s also your potential shot at mending things. Leverage it by setting a definite date with your ex.
Do the same thing if your ex is receptive after expressing your desire to mend things. Meaning they’re willing and able to start seeing you again romantically and reciprocate your advances (principle #1).
Same story if you’ve already had a date with your ex, and they just reached out again, indicating they want to spend even more time with you.
At any of those points, setting a definite date is critical. Here’s how to go about it.
Start by engaging in a short conversation. A 3-5 text message exchange or a 5-minute call, for instance. Then, preferably somewhere at the start of this conversation, say something like this:
Hey, it was nice hearing from you, but I’ve gotta run. Tell you what, why don’t we meet up? I’d love to see you. What time are you free next week?
Note that when you go for the invite, don’t sweat about calling your date a date. It doesn’t matter. If your ex still likes you, they’ll go out with you regardless of how you frame and present the whole thing.
Now after inviting them out, you’ll get one of three responses.
1. Your ex commits to a date
In other words, your ex is enthusiastic about seeing you and gives you the times they’re free. If this happens, agree on a time that suits you both, and be sure to pick an exact starting location for your date afterward as well.
Also, don’t forget to confirm and flake-proof the date agreement at the end by saying something like this:
Cool, I’ll see you at ABC on Sunday at XYZ pm. If anything comes up on my side, I’ll call you. And if anything comes up on your end, you have my number. Otherwise, I’ll just see you Sunday. Sounds fair enough?
Make sure your ex accepts and confirms these terms. If they still like you, they’ll do it without hesitation. If this happens, congrats — your date is set, and you’ve come further along re-attraction than most people reading this article.
2. Your ex doesn’t commit to a date
Fuck it, that’s life. If this happens, withdraw the date invite, end the conversation, and go back to no contact. If they reach out again in the future, invite them out one more time. But if you get turned down even then, stop inviting them altogether.
From there on out, your ex will either bring up the topic of a date themselves, in which case, set it. Or they’ll stop contacting you, in which case, forget about them.
3. Your ex gives a non-committal, wishy-washy answer
This is when they reply with things like how they have to check their schedule, how they don’t know if they’ll make it, how they may be late, how they’ll call you back, how they have some errands to take care of, and so on.
Never mistake these answers for a “Yes.” A “Maybe” is always a “No.” And whenever you come across one, respond with something polarizing like this:
It sounds like you are unsure of your schedule. Why don’t we just have our date another time? Get in touch with me when you figure out your schedule, and we can plan something then.
After saying something along these lines, shut up and wait for your ex to respond. They will either accept your terms and eventually commit to the date, in which case you’re in. Or they’ll ignore you or unenthusiastically respond with something like “okay”— both of which means you’re out. So back to no contact it is.
Besides, you don’t want to waste time with your ex if they’re only half-interested in seeing you. Those dates are tedious and often lead nowhere. You want your ex to be 100% willing, able, and ready to rekindle things.
Generally speaking, the more resistance you encounter when setting a date with your ex, the higher the likelihood they’ll turn you down, cancel, be a no-show, or ignore/ghost you at some point.
Additional Advice For Dating Your Ex
Preparing dates. Have them on multiple locations (at least 3) and in the evening. Consider going somewhere you haven’t been before, and be prepared for the worst. Always have a backup plan for your date in cases of, say, rain or snowfall. Don’t tell your ex where you’ll be going — let it be a surprise often. Depending on how sexual you are, invite your ex home at the end of your date where things can escalate towards sex. That, or ask them to continue catching up at their place.
Approaching dates. Don’t take your ex on expensive dates. Don’t do lunch or mid-day coffee dates. Don’t bring gifts. Only give compliments when your ex earned them, and don’t expect anything back in return. Don’t complain, mope, and whine on your date. Don’t worry about labels (ex-girlfriend, ex-husband, playmate, dating, meeting up, hanging out, etc.). Focus on having fun and hooking up.
Dating locations. A few decent ones: park, bowling alley, dive bar, arcade, nightlife restaurant, road trip, museum, zoo, carnival/amusement park, café/coffee shop, aquarium.
Using the phone. Calls and texting rob you of conversation topics you could have on your date, facilitate awkward interaction, make bonding impossible, and sabotage re-attraction. And texting specifically complicates things because jokes, wit, or sarcasm don’t translate well over it. Therefore, a) avoid mindless chit-chat over the phone, and b) use it strictly for setting dates and arranging other logistical hurdles.
Conversations. Ask more questions and talk less about yourself. But don’t make your date seem like a job interview. Always weave banter, humor, and observant remarks into your conversations. And don’t be afraid to elicit certain topics you’d ask questions about by sharing them yourself.
Connecting. Learn skills for building an emotional connection with your ex. Some suggestions: flirting and teasing, relating, storytelling, sexual compliments, having attractive body language, etc (Shameless plug: I teach all these skills and more in my Radical Re-Attraction Course).
Dealing with tests. A test is when your ex does or says something derogatory, shocking, or offensive to gauge your confidence and self-respect and see how you’ll react. The way you pass a test is to simply show that you’re unaffected by it. (For more information, read this article).
Handling pull aways. This is when your ex suddenly goes from being hot to cold — from affectionate to stand-offish and distant. If this happens to you, consider it a plea for space and back off. Or, one for being more assertive with your boundaries (For more information, read this article).
Overcoming mixed signals. This is when your ex, for instance, says they love and miss you one day, but ghost and ignore you the next day. Similarly to my above point, the solution here is to simply give your ex more space. (For more information, read this article).
Gauging interest. Always look at what your ex does and not what they say or mean. Your ex could keep telling you how much they love or miss you while simultaneously keep rejecting you whenever you invite them out. If you observe their behavior in this case, you can quickly see that they don’t really love or miss you. They are simply letting you down gently. (For more information, read this article).
Breaking things off. If you and your ex haven’t yet kissed by the end of your second date, and/or if you haven’t yet had sex by the end of the fourth one, consider moving on for good. The reason I suggest this approach is because it’s wise to adopt a mechanism that shields you from becoming your ex’s doormat and losing months of your life to the pursuit of futile reconciliation. (For more information, read this article).
Principle #6: Get Back Together With Your Ex (And Stay Together)
Once you’ve gone on a couple of dates with your ex and can sense things are getting more serious — more sex, intimacy, personal conversations, and verbal exchanges of love — then comes the most critical part of getting back together with an ex: re-commitment.
Most people worry about this transition way too much in my opinion. And many experts try to be too clever and anal about it, when the whole thing is actually pretty simple. Here’s how I approach it.
If your ex brings up the topic of getting back together, have the talk, and come to a mutually beneficial decision. And if they haven’t brought it up yet but you can sense you’re already acting like a couple (i.e., you’re spending a lot of time together, kissing, making out, having sex, etc.) bring up the topic yourself. Then let your ex respond.
If casually dating your ex is something that’s okay with you, keep doing it. But if it’s not, clearly communicate that and part ways. And if you’re feeling really ballsy, consider options like an open relationship or a friends-with-benefits-relationship. As long as you’re congruent with what you want, you’ll be fine, emotionally speaking.
Now, if you got back together with your ex, things can work out. But that’s only if both of you changed.
For relationships don’t end because two people did something wrong to each other. Relationships end because two people are something wrong for each other.
And when I say you and your ex must’ve changed, I’m referring to a couple of things: you must learn from the breakup, acknowledge your mistakes, alter the behaviors that made you fall apart, partly redefine your values, accept each other’s flaws, and, most importantly, repair what I call the fundamental components of any healthy relationship: mutual trust, respect, and affection.
To rebuild these components, time and consistent proof of growth and change from both sides are key. People fall out of love slowly over time, impairing mutual trust, respect, and affection. In the same way, they also fall back in love slowly over time, rebuilding that mutual trust, respect and affection.
Problems in rebuilding any of these components could mean that you or your ex have an insecure attachment style, or it could mean that your relationship is flawed in some other fundamental way. If that’s the case, fix the underlying issues before re-committing.
Additional Advice On Lasting Re-Commitment
Know that you can work on yourself while you’re dating your ex and still get back together. Sometimes you may start getting serious with them before you have a chance to adequately improve. That is, before you overcome major insecurities, deal with certain anxieties, or alter/accept particular incompatibilities. All of this is normal, and it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed.
Don’t give your ex ultimatums. That is, demands for a behavioral change accompanied by a threat with the aim to pressure the other person into doing something they don’t want to do. An example would be when you tell your ex, “either we get back together this week, or I’m never talking to you again!”
Don’t force your ex to give you closure. Sometimes there’s no specific reason why your ex dumped you or why things didn’t work out. Sometimes there is one, but they lie about it. Other times they tell you that reason, and then, shockingly, you’re still not satisfied. And guess what? You’ll never be, regardless of your ex’s response. For closure is not something found in your ex. It’s the attitude you decide upon when you get better emotionally. It’s found within you.
Always be willing to end your relationship and walk away. Your relationship is not a failure if it ends. Nor is it a success if it stands the test of time. Sometimes it’s simply healthier for two partners to part ways rather than trying to work it out by treating each other like shit, suppressing their needs, altering their identity, and becoming miserable in the process.
Conclusion: What No One Tells You About Getting Back With Your Ex
Below are five harsh truths about getting an ex back that no one tells you about. For the most part, because they don’t sell. After all, everyone will buy ex-back products from the person who tells them how they should get them back and how easy it is. Rarely will anyone buy from the person who tells them the opposite.
Well, fuck you. I’m the latter person.
1. The Odds Of Getting Your Ex Back Permanently Are Shit
According to our most recent statistics, only 30% of couples get back together. And only half of those 30% actually stay together for good. (3)
This comes at no surprise. I mean, if there was a tried-and-true way to get an ex back, we as a society would have a) figured it out a long time ago, and b) breakups would be wiped out. The world would be flooded with happily committed and married couples. And I’d probably be out of the job.
Yet, don’t lose hope. There are still examples of couples out there who just needed some time apart to gain perspective on their relationship and learn how to make it work. However, if you find yourself in an endless cycle of breaking up and getting back together, then you probably should end things for good.
2. You Don’t Need Your Ex (Even If You Think You Do)
Most people are terrified of letting their ex go. And so they cling to them and try to get them back because they make them feel important and worthy and loved. This, unknowingly, makes them slaves to their exes.
Much of our lives is guided by this sense of scarcity. We mistake the ex that provides — or once provided — for our emotional needs as the needs themselves.
But the truth is, you don’t really need your ex to appreciate, validate and love you again. What you need is to make yourself feel appreciated, validated, and loved.
What you need is you. There are a bazillion ways you can meet your own needs. And all that is required is an ability to do so and the courage to believe that it is possible.
3. There Is No “Right Or Best” Way To Get Your Ex Back
Some ways of getting an ex back are more effective and healthy than others. But ultimately, there is no right or best way.
Even this guide doesn’t paint my way as the right or best one. All it does is lay a rough model for re-attraction that I believe in and that gets, to my knowledge, the best results for my readers.
And look, I know I’ll get shat on for this, but compared to every model for getting an ex back, I think mine is by far the healthiest and most effective. But then again, who am I to say it will be a good fit for you?
4. Your Can Always Find Someone Better Than Your Ex
Getting your ex back is a win-win scenario. If they reach out and you re-commit, great. Hopefully it works out. But if your ex never reaches out and moves on, then also great. You’re now open to meeting someone better. And, believe it or not, you can find someone better.
Your ex is not special. Your ex is not your soulmate. And labeling them as such is an insult to literally millions of other people whom you would find attractive and intelligent and who, unlike your ex, are able and ready and willing to create a future with you…
…A future from which you’ll be able to look back at this period and chuckle, knowing how everything you’re feeling and thinking is so unimportant in the grand scheme of life.
5. The Point Of “How To Get Your Ex Back” Advice Is To Stop
The purpose of ex-back advice, even breakup advice as a whole, is to come to a point where you no longer need it — a point where you eventually leave it behind and move on to a new chapter of your life — with or without your ex.
Yet, too often people can’t do that. They intellectualize re-attraction, look for answers they already have, and get addicted to these articles. The same goes for videos and podcasts.
And having greedy gurus preying on their vulnerabilities every step of the way makes everything worse. Let’s face it, most people posing as breakup coaches in this space don’t want what’s best for you — they want your money. They want to exploit your ex-addiction. They want to make you their bitch.
Please don’t give in. After a month — three at most — opt out of this advice. Stop reading my shit. Stop watching my shit. Stop digesting anything ex-back related. Opt out no matter what. Your mental health will appreciate it.
More Resources For Getting Your Ex Back
- The Re-Attraction Cheat Sheet: a guide with quick information about every step of getting an ex back: how to reach out, become more attractive, handle no contact and dating, transition into and maintain a healthy relationship, and more.
- From The Inside Out: A Counterintuitive Approach To Re-Attracting An Ex: a book providing a practical, no-nonsense view of what it means to be a healthy, attractive person capable of mending a relationship.
- The Radical Re-Attraction Course: an interactive online course that teaches you how to permanently get back with your ex through honesty, vulnerability, and proper self-improvement.
- Change Your Mind About Getting Your Ex Back: this article is an exemplification of how getting an ex back might look like if you weren’t being needy and desperate all the damn time.
- The Ultimate Guide To The No Contact Rule: a deep dive into arguably the most powerful breakup recovery and re-attraction method out there.
- Exposing The 30-Day No Contact Rule Scam: a definitive critique of the 30-day no contact rule where I talk about why it generally doesn’t work, the rare few occasions where it does, and what to do instead.
- The Staggering Bullshit Of The “Get Your Ex Back” Gurus: these are essentially snake oil salesmen who exploit your heartbreak for profit. This article helps you differentiate between a guru and someone who actually knows what they’re talking about and has your best interest in mind.
18 Reasons Why Your Relationship Failed
Breaking up hurts, but why does it happen? Why did your relationship fail in the first place? Discover 18 reasons in this article.
Decomplicating Ex-Back Advice
Learn how getting an ex back is often purposefully drenched in artificial complexity and 7 powerful ways to decomplicate the whole thing.
Exposing The 30-Day No Contact Rule Scam
Learn why the 30-day no contact rule doesn't actually work and what you should be doing instead to get your ex back.
8 Signs Your Ex Just Wants To Sleep With You
Learn 8 signs your ex just wants to sleep with you, why they want it, and how to navigate the conundrum so you eventually get them back.
Your Ex Is Not Your Therapist
Your ex is not your therapist, nor should they be. And if you make them one, you'll be rejected in no time and never get them back.