How To Get Your Ex Back And Actually Keep Them - Max Jancar
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How To Get Your Ex Back And Actually Keep Them

By Max Jancar | Updated: May 1, 2022 | 42 Minute Read | Ex-Back

How To Get Your Ex Back

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So this is probably the 37th article you’ve read after getting dumped. And you’re likely pretty sick and tired of trying to figure out how to get your ex back.

I get it.

A lot of “advice” out there claims that you can get your ex back by simply waiting a few days, sending a couple of scripted texts, displaying a handful of attractive behaviors, faking a bit of confidence and indifference, and BAM. Your ex is back in your arms, loving, lusting and drooling all over you.

These are what I call performance behaviors. And while they can help you get your ex back, they’ll never help you cultivate a healthy and lasting relationship with them. So it’s best to avoid them.

Think about it this way: if you got your ex back solely through performance, without ever investing in yourself and changing for the better, you’d just break up again. After all, the things that killed your relationship initially would still be there — never uncovered, addressed, and resolved.

So rather than agonizing over performance, re-attract your ex through investing in yourself and developing a stronger identity. For it’s not what you say, how you look, or even what you do that matters. It’s who you become that matters — what you stand for, what you represent, what you embody. What you say, how you look, and what you do should only be an extension of who you become. In and of themselves, the words and actions mean nothing.

It’s not about acting attractive that gets your ex back; it’s about actually becoming attractive that gets them back.

For example, if you’re a lazy, self-loathing, negative, out-of-shape, whiny slob who takes no responsibility for their actions, spends days mindlessly binging Netflix and works at a dead-end job they hate — you’re not going to get very far with your ex. That is, even if you know all the best lines, scripts, and tactics, and exhibit the most magnetic behaviors.

Whereas if you’re a responsible, confident, non-needy, in-shape, positive, professional, ambitious, successful person with good friends and solid character, then you’ll get much farther with your ex — at least farther than if you’d embody the shitty identity I mentioned earlier.

Now becoming attractive and getting back with your ex as a result may sound vague and abstract, but it’s actually quite simple. It boils down to implementing a few key principles — principles I’ll explain below.

Note: If you’d like to learn how to get your ex back and keep them through a different format, here’s a Youtube video explaining this article. Enjoy.

1. Tell Your Ex That You Want Them Back

Whether it’s through a text, social media, a call, or in real life… Whether it’s been one week since your breakup or ten years… Whether your ex told you they never want to see you again or you broke up amiably… Whether they dumped you or you dumped them… if you want your ex back and haven’t yet made it clear, tell them that you want them back.

Don’t make it a big deal. Don’t lose your center and become spineless. Don’t act overly confident or turn into an overcompensating dipshit. Just be direct, bold, polarizing, and above all, vulnerable.

I’m not referring to “emotional vomit” however, but true vulnerability. A type of vulnerability imbued with a sense of personal responsibility and healthy boundaries. It’s when you have the courage to tell your ex what’s really on your mind (i.e., you tell your ex you want them back) while staying unattached to their response, and accept it even if it hurts.

Here’s something you could say to your ex if they dumped you but you want them back:

Hey there, [ex’s name]. This is kind of random… Forgive me for being honest, but I need to get this off my chest. I love you, I miss you, and I truly want to make things work between us. If you’re ever feeling the same way, reach out, 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 and want them back:

Hey there, [ex’s name]. 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.

Some Additional Notes For When You Express Your Interest To Your Ex

Know when to apologize. If you cheated, lied, or did something devious to your ex, add a genuine apology to your statement of interest, acknowledging the ways you’ve hurt them and what you’ve learned from the incident. Then promise not to repeat your mistake and keep that promise. Don’t be dramatic when apologizing, and do it only once.

Never settle for friendship. Spoiler: being friends never works out. Communicate you want to continue seeing them romantically instead. If they are unwilling to continue seeing you in this way, tell them to get in touch with you if they ever change their mind. Then let them go forever and never contact them again for any reason. It’s romance, or you’re not interested.

Know when to invite your ex on a date. If your ex is showing signs of wanting you back and is receptive and enthusiastic promptly after you state your interest, invite them out on a date. But if they’re unreceptive and cold or if they blocked, ghosted, ignored, or rejected you — be it indirectly (i.e., via excuses) or directly (i.e., via phrases like, “I don’t want you in my life anymore”) — end the conversation and move on with your life (more on this during principle #5). The only time you’ll give your ex a shot at rekindling things is when they contact you first.

2. Move On With Your Life (Indefinite No Contact)

Moving on with your life — also called Indefinite No Contact — is arguably the hardest part of getting an ex back for most people because of the debilitating anxiety and insecurity it ignites in them. Yet, paradoxically, it’s also most attractive thing one can do after telling their ex they want them back and being met with an unreciprocated response or rejection.

The theory goes that your ex will eventually wonder why you haven’t reached out yet. After all, they probably expect you to cave and chase after them since they have all the 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, they’ll gradually shift their focus from the negative aspects of your relationship to the positive, making them more likely to reach out and easier to get back together with.

This is possible due to the fading affect bias (over a longer period of time, memories associated with negative emotions tend to be forgotten quicker than those associated with positive emotions) and the rose-colored glasses bias (the passing of time invites nostalgia, making certain events feel more pleasing and positive than they really were). (1) (2)

So, in a way, moving on rebalances the entire relational dynamic in your favor. It also enables you to recover faster and makes it easier to reflect on why your relationship fell apart in the first place and what you’d need to improve to make it work the next time around.

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 article on no contact:

From now on…

  • You don’t call, message, or engage with their social media anymore (in fact, quietly unfriend and unfollow them and go on a social media detox).
  • You don’t go to places where you’d have an “accidental” encounter with them.
  • You don’t wish them happy birthday, Valentine’s day, Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, whatever…
  • You don’t even express your condolences if they lose a family member or a dear friend.
  • You hide every reminder of them that’s within your control.
  • You avoid going to places that elicit (or can potentially elicit) painful memories.
  • You throw away or return everything your ex gave you (or at least lend those things/gifts to a friend until you’ve moved on).

Generally speaking, the more physical and emotional distance you put between your ex and yourself, the faster you’ll heal and the likelier it is that you’ll raise their attraction, get them to miss you and reach out, and get back together. 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, and get back together.

Or to put it another way: the best way to get somebody’s attention is to remove yours.

Some Additional Notes For When You Go No Contact With Your Ex

Consider logistics. If you live with your ex, move out or move them out. If you have mutual friends, cut them loose or distance yourself from them until you’ve healed. If you work together or have a kids or pets, only talk about those subjects. Keep your conversations business-like, to the point, and end them as soon as you make a mutually beneficial agreement or decision.

Don’t make a big deal out of the whole thing. If anyone brings up why you’ve cut your ex out of your life, just admit you’re in pain. There’s no shame in pain. Just know that you don’t owe anyone an explanation or justification for your actions.

Manage rumination. Whenever you find yourself obsessing over your ex, gently remind yourself to think of something else. Then go and do something that involves moving your body. In other words, distract yourself. But not to where you risk numbing yourself and turning to escapism. For instance, when you go on a 24/7 gaming binge for 2 weeks. In other words, use healthy distractions in healthy amounts.

Have the right intentions with no contact. Don’t use it to solely win your ex back. Go no contact to win yourself back. Winning your ex back is simply a sexy side-effect of winning yourself back.

Other Variations Of No Contact For Getting An Ex Back

While working in the “how to get my ex back” space, I came across a peculiar sight. There are actually variations of no contact for getting back with an out there. Some people advise you wait 21 days and then (this is where it gets weird) reach out to your ex. Some say you should wait 30 days before you contact them. Some insist on 45. And others on 60.

This shit never made sense to me.

For starters, doing time-limited no contact only incentivizes you to passively wait and twiddle your thumbs for the next X-days where you don’t talk to your ex. Your intentions and efforts are no longer set on healing and growth but reconciliation. And that never works out.

It’s needy and unattractive. It’s annoying and predictable. It implies that you see yourself as lesser (sees your ex on a pedestal). It communicates that you have little to no self-respect and are willing to go out of your way to please your ex. It conveys you have nothing better going on in your life.

And if that’s not bad enough, consider this: why would your ex even want to get back together with you if you keep nagging and chasing after them. They left you because they wanted less of you. So how is giving them more of you going to turn things around? Spoiler alert: It won’t.

My theory is that time sensitive no contact is just another marketing ploy. People who want their ex back don’t want to hear that they should move on after their breakup and only give their ex a chance if they show interest first. Of course not!

These people want to hear what feels good. Wait X days, then reach out with this special sneaky text! And since this slimy advice sells better, most greedy “how to get your ex back” gurus swear by it.

3. Invest in your relationship with yourself

The more you invest in yourself, the happier, healthier, emotionally secure, confident, and attractive you’ll become. However, you also need to get your intentions right.

If you’re improving yourself for the sake of getting your ex back (i.e., to impress or prove yourself to them), they will eventually perceive you as needy and unattractive (because behaviors stemming from those intentions are needy and unattractive).

But if you’re improving yourself because you want to — you’re doing it solely for the sake of self-improvement; you’re doing it solely for yourself — then you’ll come off as non-needy and attractive.

Below are just a few guidelines to get you to a place where you can manage your emotional, mental and spiritual health more confidently if you’re struggling with self-improvement right now.

Rebuild Your Life’s Foundation (Lifestyle Design)

Rebuilding your life’s foundation essentially refers to rebuilding five core lifestyle areas: sleep, exercise, diet, well-being, and hygiene.

If you feel you’re under-slept, well, take a nap. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time. Buy yourself some blackout curtains. Do some evening mediation. Limit screen time before bed. All of these things will help you sleep better, making you more energized in the morning.

If you’re out of shape, throw yourself into the gym. Take up jogging. Maybe sign up for hiking or swimming classes. Do what resonates with you. The point is to start moving your body, for movement will help you get out of your head — where your ex probably keeps floating around — and into your body, into the present moment.

If you have a crappy diet and you’ve let yourself go, reclaim your health. Cut out sugar, carbs, fried, and processed shit. In practice, rather than having McNuggets and coke for lunch, opt for a healthy salad. And, when you’re ready, consider amping things up by replacing yet another unhealthy meal from your day with a healthier alternative.

If you don’t have any responsibilities — studies/college, employment/work, child rearing, etc. — go and get some. They’ll yield feelings of security and, in general, make you a less shitty human being. Corollary to responsibilities, if you still live with your parents, get your own place and move out.

If you don’t have any hobbies, get some. Or if you’ve neglected certain hobbies because you were preoccupied with your ex-relationship, now’s the perfect time to jump in them again.

If you feel overworked, nervous, and on the brink of burning out in your professional life, take some time off to relax and unwind. Preferably somewhere in nature since it benefits your mental and physical well-being much more than other options. (3)

And if you haven’t washed for days or changed your clothing, and smell like a troglodyte, go and take care of yourself. Take a shower. Change your clothing. Clip your nails. Maybe invest in new clothing? You know the drill. A breakup is no excuse for being a slob.

Calm Yourself Down

A breakup will spike your emotions. You’ll be feeling like a train wreck for a long time after it, so calming yourself down during turbulent and panicky times is vital to avoid sabotaging your attempts at getting your ex back. And while there’s a lot of ways you can do this, here’s what works best for most:

Another perk of these modalities is that they help you develop a high level of detachment to whether or not you are met with a temporary rejection or fail to get your ex back completely. In other words, 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 getting comfortable with your emotions…

Become Comfortable With Your Emotions

If you read other “how to get your ex back” sites, you probably stumbled across articles teaching you how to stop feeling excited when your ex calls, how to prevent nervousness when you meet up with them, 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. You can’t even control your emotion. And besides, having them is normal and healthy — 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 the needy behavior you display due to being excited. Or instead of trying to stop being angry because your ex flaked on you, stop the violent behaviors that you want to carry out on your ex.

Once you get accustomed to accepting your emotions and still controlling your behavior despite them, you’ll no longer be controlled by them. You’ll be free to experience and feel them without flinching or hiding from them.

This usually necessitates sitting through an uncomfortable pain period, but the long-term result will be that of a healthy and mature person capable of forming healthy and mature relationships with others — be it an ex or someone else.

Find New Sources Of Meaning

Losing a relationship leads to losing a deeply engrained part of yourself which pushes many people into an existential or identity crisis. In order to overcome it you must find something so important and meaningful that it makes getting your ex back of little-to-no importance.

Some examples: a cause, a movement, another relationship, a passion, a life purpose, a desire to master some particular skill, a desire to develop some healthy habit, etc.

The way you find this something is simple, but it does take time and effort. However, if you block out 30 minutes of your day each day to think about what you want to do with the time left on this planet, you’ll be amazed at what you can come up with.

Sometimes questions relating to purpose and meaning are intimidating. But that’s because we rarely ponder on them. After you do it a couple of times, things get much easier, and you get way more clarity, and that clarity helps keep your stay centered and calm no matter what your breakup throws at you.

Develop An Abundance Mentality

Most people who want to know how to get their ex back have what’s called a scarcity mentality. A scarcity mentality is when you think your ex is their only opportunity for a relationship out there, and it’s one of the many factors that makes you needy.

The opposite of a scarcity mentality is an abundance mentality, which is, in many ways, the literal definition of an attractive person. It’s when you recognize that regardless of how great you believe your ex is, there are an infinite amount of people like them out there.

The sooner you develop this mentality, the sooner you’ll start adopting attractive behaviors like acting more assertively and with confidence or expressing yourself more unabashedly.

What helped me develop it was a simple phrase I silently kept repeating to myself: “There’s more like her [my ex].” The phrase eventually became so ingrained in me that it became automatic. Ex didn’t respond to my text. There’s more like her. Ex didn’t show up for a date. There’s more like her. Ex got into a rebound. There’s more like her.

Over months, I developed my abundance mentality to a point where it finally dawned on me: there really is more like her, so why the fuck would I keep pursuing her? And so I stopped. It was that decision that changed everything. After a few weeks, my ex paradoxically became curious about my silence and started pursuing me — something that never happened before. And while I was already over the “how to get your ex back” thing at the time, maybe you won’t be.

Socialize More

Do yourself a favor, and don’t suffer alone. Create a strong network of relationships to help you get through your breakup. We’re wired for social connection, after all. Without it, our system begins to deteriorate. (4)

And don’t seek out just any relationship. Find the kinds where you feel safe to open up, that are full of empathic and caring people willing to listen to you, and where you’ll be encouraged to reflect on your situation, learn important life lessons, and ultimately, find some sort of fulfillment and meaning.

So call up your family members, your tightest friends, maybe even solidify the relationship with the few who are not so close to you. They will help you fend off loneliness and stay in check so you don’t contact your ex and screw your chances of getting them back.

Start Dating As Soon As Reasonable

Dating is hands down one of the best ways to recover from a breakup and become more attractive. Just don’t start dating right away. Take some time to enjoy the single life and wait until the idea of dating begins to feel fun and exciting.

The last thing you want is to date only to push your feelings down, escape the pain, feel loved, or prove something to yourself or your ex. Dating with those intentions will only make you miserable.

If you’re interested in dating, read this in-depth guide: A Practical Guide To Modern Dating After A Breakup.

Engage Your Pain

Pain is a constant in life. You can’t remove it, nor can you control it. You have no other choice but to engage it, which boils down to:

  1. Feeling the very depth of your pain by letting yourself cry and wail whenever you have to (just make sure you’re somewhere private while doing this).
  2. Ascribing your pain with an empowering meaning like “Getting into a breakup doesn’t make me a failure; it only means I’ve made some mistakes.”

Ultimately, whenever you avoid your pain, you suffer. Whenever you engage your pain, you grow.

Develop Character

I define character as having a set of interesting hobbies, passions, opinions, and desires that make you stand apart compared to other potential mates your ex has available. If you don’t have character, you’re not entirely to blame. Most of us are pressured to like and agree with whatever our friends and the people around us like and agree with. Yet, you must resist the urge to be another dime in a dozen and stand out somehow.

For it’s standing out what fundamentally makes you attractive because it demonstrates investment into yourself, that is, in your distinct hobbies, passions, opinions, and desires. Think of it this way: why would your ex ever want to get back with you if you have nothing interesting going for you?

Now, developing character is a simple but long process. Here are some basic guidelines:

Develop deeper, more intellectual opinions and share them. For example, instead of just saying, “Yeah, I really enjoyed that movie,” share why you think so: “I really enjoyed it because I found I can relate with the main character’s story arc profoundly. He battled with the same familial issues I’ve battled with during my childhood. And he overcame them the same way I did throughout my adolescence.

Think for yourself. Most people simply let society, or most notably, pop culture dictate their likes and dislikes. Go against the wave. Be interesting. Stop and think why you like certain things and why some of them are more popular than others. Then develop a unique opinion based on that knowledge.

Dive into new experiences and develop new tastes. There’s nothing wrong with having a generic taste, but again, what will make you stick out from the rest of your ex’s potential mates. Do you brew beer, write poetry, practice survival in the wilderness, tinker with hydroponic gardening? What’s your unique selling point? What interesting things are you doing or researching in your spare time? What will make you stand out in your ex’s mind?

On a final note, don’t be afraid to express your character. Attractive people are polarizing, uninhibited, and make their character known.

Raise Your Self worth

Most people develop something called an inferiority gap when they get dumped. Basically, they begin to see their ex as above them in terms of worthiness and themselves as below them.

And because they see themselves as less worthy, they often resort to performance behaviors that only make them feel worse about themselves. As I wrote, these are things like reverse psychology, scripted lines, acting indifferent, not texting back for X days, only talking about “safe” topics, etc.

Now, the way you close this inferiority gap is by developing solid personal boundaries, building character, overcoming limiting beliefs, and cultivating vulnerability. The more you do these things, the faster you’ll close your inferiority gap and the more attractive and less needy you’ll get. Ergo, you’ll have a much greater chance of getting your ex back.

Overcome Neediness

Neediness means being more invested in the perception your ex has of you than your perception of yourself. It’s when you put their the beliefs, views, and thoughts above your own and alter your words or behaviors to fit their desires and needs rather than your own. It’s whenever you do something to impress your ex rather than to fulfill yourself.

Neediness, at it’s core, stems from low self-esteem or self-worth and limiting beliefs and always leads to unattractive behaviors like:

As I wrote in my article on neediness: the less needy you are, the more attractive your ex will find you on average. The more needy you are, the less attractive your ex will find you on average. And the way you manage and minimize neediness is by avoiding the unattractive behaviours I wrote about above and closing the inferiority gap we talked about earlier.

A Cheat Sheet For Pinpointing And Maximizing Your Chances Of Reuniting With Your Ex

This free cheat sheet will explain every step of the re-attraction process, cut out all the confusion, and catapult your chances of getting back with your ex sky-high.

Get The Free Cheat Sheet

4. Ponder If Getting Back With Your Ex Is Even A Good Idea

Most people shouldn’t try to get their ex back. The only exception are those who a) are unattached to the outcome, b) are in a peaceful and content state (happy with themselves), and c) know that if they get back together, they could form a healthy relationship with their ex.

To help you determine whether or not you’re the exception, here’s a couple of key questions you should ask yourself:

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you shouldn’t try to get your ex back. You’re clearly not in the right headspace yet. I would instead focus on recovery and becoming content with being by yourself for now.

But, if you answered “no” to the above questions, and you’re sure that despite wanting your ex back, you’re happy with yourself and unattached to whether you get back together or not, continue answering four more vital questions.

  1. Are you and your ex compatible? Meaning, do you share similar worldviews, beliefs, and values? (If in doubt, read this article).
  2. Are you and your ex mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy — do you possess any red flags or toxic tendencies that might sabotage or damage your relationship at some point? (If in doubt, read this article).
  3. Do you and your ex know how to love unconditionally and in a mature way? (If in doubt, read this article).
  4. Do you know why you broke up and are prepared to work on those flaws to avoid a second breakup? (If in doubt, read this article, this one, and this one).

If you answered “yes” to the above questions, you might actually be qualified to pursue reconciliation. Congrats! However, if you answered any of them with a “no,” then, please, consider moving on completely. And before you swamp my emails asking, “what if I’m only 69.11% sure that my ex is compatible/healthy/mature, etc.,” let me put forward The Law Of Fuck Yes Or No.

Applying The Law Of Fuck Yes Or No To Getting Back With An Ex

The idea is that if something is not a 100% FUCK yes, it’s a fuck no. If you’re not 100% sure your ex is compatible, it’s a fuck no for getting back together. If you’re not 100% sure they’re a healthy and mature individual, guess what? It’s a fuck no. And if you have no idea why you broke up in the first place and therefore can’t even realistically determine what to “fix” to get back together, then — you’ve guessed it — it’s a fuck no.

If you think about it, Fuck Yes Or No is a byproduct of everything we have covered until now. When you improve yourself to the point where you become a non-needy, high-value, and self-worth person who takes care of themselves for themselves, you won’t put up with your ex’s bullshit anymore.

Games, major incompatibles, emotional outbursts, drama, wishy-washiness, excuses why they can’t go out with you… you’ll just have too much self-respect to care about that stuff. If you won’t see that your ex is on board with getting back together, you’ll simply stop trying to get them back. As you should in that case!

5. Set A Date When Your Ex Reaches Out And Meet up with Them

If your ex reached out at some point (public social media comments don’t count!) — and they aren’t interested in discussing logistics like children, pets, living arrangements, work, or possessions — they likely still foster feelings for you.

At this point, engage them in a short conversation (for example: a 3-5 text message exchange or a 5 minute call) and, preferably somewhere at the start of it, invite them out — a.k.a., polarize them.

Say something like, “Nice hearing from you, tell you what, why don’t we get together again. I’d love to see you. What time are you free next week?” Now let your ex answer. By this point, you’ll get one of three responses:

1. Your ex commits to a date

Great job! Now all you have to do is agree upon a set date and time for your date, show up, and have fun. For the first date or two, I recommend you meet up with your ex on neutral ground. You want the both of you to feel as comfortable as possible.

And after the date unfolds, and if it unfolds in such a way where you end up kissing, making out and being all over each other, invite your ex to your place for a romantic dinner (or go to their place). In the end, I encourage you, have sex.

That said, if your ex is highly flirtatious from the get-go, consider skipping the neutral place and just go straight for the invite to your place (or a trip to theirs). But be cautious: your ex is just as uncertain as you are, and they don’t have all the answers you may be expecting them to have concerning getting back together.

2. Your ex doesn’t commit to a date

Fuck it. That’s life – sometimes it throws you some bait, and just as you catch it, it pushes your legs apart and fucks you in the ass. If your ex doesn’t commit to a date, don’t force them. Just end the conversation and return to no contact.

If they reach out again in the future, invite them out one more time. And if you get turned down even then, stop inviting them, even if they reach out first. At that point they’ll either bring up the topic of a date themselves or they’ll stop contacting you altogether.

3. Your ex gives a wishy-washy answer

I have to check my schedule…Maybe next week…Let’s just hang out as friends… I have some errands to take care off… I may be late… Don’t mistake these answers for signs that your ex wants you back. A “maybe” is always a form of a “no.” So, back to no contact it is.

You don’t want to waste time with people who are half-interested — “half-yes” — in seeing you. Dates with those kinds of people usually lead nowhere. You want your ex to be 100% willing, able, and ready to rekindle things. That said, sometimes your ex is genuinely busy. But in those cases they will usually put forward a rain check. If they don’t, you know where you stand.

Generally speaking, the more resistance you encounter when trying to set a date with your ex, the higher the likelihood that they will turn you down, cancel, be a no-show, or ignore/ghost you at some point.

Some Additional Tips For Dating Your Ex

Setting dates. It’s best if done over a call or via text. Just remember not to chit-chat for hours on end. This will only rob you of conversation topics you could have on your date, facilitate awkward interactions, and make bonding harder. As a rule of thumb: use your phone only for setting and arranging dates and other logistical hurdles.

Planning dates. Have dates in multiple locations (at least 3) and in the evening to facilitate a romantic setting. Further, 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. Never tell your ex where you’ll be going — let it be a surprise. A few decent dating locations: park, bowling alley, dive bar, arcade, night-life restaurant, road trip, museum, zoo, carnival/amusement park, café/coffee shop, aquarium.

Executing dates. For one, don’t take your ex on grand and expensive dates. It screams try-hard, and it looks desperate. Then, don’t forget to flirt, tease and show sexual interest. Also, ask questions 70% of the time. 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.

General dating tips. Learn skills for building emotional connections: humor, relating, exposing, storytelling, questions vs. statements, sexual compliments, attractive body language, etc (I teach these things in my Radical Re-Attraction Course). Regarding compliments, only give one when your ex earned it, or you gave it out of genuine appreciation and without expecting anything in return. Further, always focus on what your ex does and not what they say or mean. And finally, don’t complain, mope, and whine on your date. Focus on having fun and hooking up.

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 your ex back: re-commitment.

Most people worry about this transition way too much, and most other “how to get your ex back” experts try to be way too smart and anal about it. It’s actually pretty simple.

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 and 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. Literally put forward the idea of getting back together. Then let your ex respond.

Maybe they’ll try again, maybe they won’t, and they’ll give an excuse instead. If that happens, respect their decision. At that point, how you move forward really comes down to your values and boundaries.

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 the 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 both have to learn from the breakup, acknowledge your mistakes, alter the behaviors that made you part initially, partly redefine your values, learn how to accept each other’s flaws, and, most importantly, repair the fundamental components of any healthy relationship: mutual trust, respect, and affection.

I wrote more about these components in my article on healthy relationships, but here’s a quick and dirty rundown:

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.

And, of course, 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. Never forget this.

Shoot myself to love you; if I loved myself I’d be shooting you. — Marilyn Manson

(Optional) Top Questions On How To Get Your Ex Back

How do I make my ex want me back?

While you certainly could try and inspire or encourage them, you can’t ever make them want you back. Not only does attempting to pull this off — whether through cunning manipulation or sheer force — diminish your ex’s attraction for you, it’s simply not right. Mark my words; you will feel like a piece of shit for doing it.

What should I say to get my ex back?

The things I wrote under principle #1 are a solid starting point. Just note that you shouldn’t say them exactly as I wrote them, or you’ll come across as inauthentic — because you actually will be inauthentic. Tailor what I wrote to your figure of speech and situation instead.

How To Get My Ex Back When I Cheated?

By applying eight additional principles I wrote about in this article. Although, according to my experience with coaching people, if you cheated you likely won’t get back with your ex. Same story applies if your ex cheated on you. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible, but difficult.

What makes an ex come back?

From everything we covered till now, your best bet is a mixture of going no contact and investing in yourself. Specifically in your self-esteem, worth, confidence, and life areas like sleep, health, diet, hygiene, career, social life, hobbies, etc.

How long does it take for an ex to come back?

It depends on many factors: the length, type, and intensity of your relationship, the age bracket you’re in, your attachment type, the amount of neediness you hold, etc. That said, most couples that rekindle things, to my knowledge, do so 1-3 months following their breakup.

When should I give up trying to get my ex back?

Roughly speaking, if you’re not seeing any progress in re-attracting them in 1-3 months after the breakup, they’re probably over you, and you should stop holding on to hope and let them go for good.

What No One Tells You About Getting Back With Your Ex

Below are six simple yet harsh truths about getting an ex back that no one tells you about. For the most part, because they don’t sell.

Everyone will buy “how to get your ex back” products from the person who tells them how they should get their ex back and how easy it is (especially with their “system” or whatever). 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 are shit

The odds of getting your ex back are low, and staying together even lower on average. 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 prematurely.

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 locked in a cycle of breaking up and getting back together — a.k.a., being trapped in a toxic on/off relationship — where you’re either in bliss or hell, depending on the month, then you probably should end things for good.

2. You Don’t need your ex

Most people are terrified of letting their ex go. And so they cling onto 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. You Shouldn’t Get Back With Your Ex

Reconciliation only works out and is beneficial for a small minority. Most people shouldn’t get back with their ex, for the cons of doing so far outweigh the pros.

First, the simple act of trying to get your ex back will imbrue your life with unnecessary stress and only prolong your breakup recovery.

Second, your motives for wanting your ex back likely boil down to fear of loss, sick beliefs that you can’t find anyone better, or a feeling that you’re not good enough to find anyone better. As you’d guess, these motives don’t exactly make a sturdy foundation on which you’d rebuild your relationship.

Third, most exes move on and cease to love you before dumping you. So, chances are, your ex moved on already, making your attempts at getting them back nothing but wasted effort.

Fourth, even if you do get your ex back, it’s not like the problems you had in the past will suddenly disappear. Yes, people improve and change for the better, but that applies only to a fraction of our population. For instance, if your ex kept cheating behind your back and lying about it, you’ll probably experience more of the same after getting back together. And no, you can’t make them change.

4. There is no “right or best” way to get your ex back

Some ways of getting an ex back are better and more effective 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 path for getting your ex back that I believe in, and that gets, to my knowledge, the best results for my readers.

But for the record, — and I’m fully aware I sound pompous when I write this — when compared to every other “get your ex back” approach, system, guide, whatever, I believe mine is by far the healthiest, most ethical, and mature. But, then again, who am I to say it will be a good fit for you?

5. Your ex is not special

Always think of getting your ex back as a win-win scenario. If they reach out and you get back together, great. Try again. Hopefully it works out this time.

But if your ex never reaches out nor gives you any indicator of interest, then also great. You’re now open to meeting someone better in the future. And, believe it or not, you can find that someone. Your ex is not special.

And labeling them as such is an insult to literally millions of other people that 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.

6. The point of “How To Get Your Ex Back” Advice Is To Stop

The purpose of “how to get your 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 look for answers they already have, intellectualize every move they make, and get addicted to these articles. The same goes for youtube videos and podcasts about getting an ex back. And having greedy gurus preying on their vulnerabilities every step makes everything worse.

Let’s face it already, 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.

So, I want you to promise me (for God’s sake, PLEASE promise me) that after a month, or three at most, you opt out of breakup advice. Stop reading my shit. Stop watching my shit. Stop reading and watching anything breakup-related. That’s all I ask. Opt out no matter what. Your future self will thank you.

Top Resources For Getting Your Ex Back

If you need more help getting your ex back, check out my Radical Re-Attraction Course. With over 8h of video, 300 pages of writing, and personalized 1-on-1 coaching, I'll walk you through every step of the re-attraction process from start to finish.

A Cheat Sheet For Pinpointing And Maximizing Your Chances Of Reuniting With Your Ex

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A Cheat Sheet For Pinpointing And Maximizing Your Chances Of Reuniting With Your Ex

This free cheat sheet will explain every step of the re-attraction process, cut out all the confusion, and catapult your chances of getting back with your ex sky-high.

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A Cheat Sheet For Pinpointing And Maximizing Your Chances Of Reuniting With Your Ex

This free cheat sheet will explain every step of the re-attraction process, cut out all the confusion, and catapult your chances of getting back with your ex sky-high.

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Not Interested.