The Uncomfortable Reality
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The Uncomfortable Reality

By Max Jancar | Published: August 9, 2023 | 7 Minute Read | Ex-Back

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This article is an excerpt from my book, From The Inside Out: A Counterintuitive Approach To Re-Attracting An Ex.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get back with your ex, please, close this book and grow the fuck up. Re-attraction — that is, the process of rekindling a romantic relationship — hardly ever entails such solutions.

Usually, it’s just a fruitless drag through puke, shit, and razor blades. And even more often, it just shouldn’t work out.

While pressing through my own breakup — my first — and hellbent on winning my ex back, I desperately clutched onto the umpteen lies and false hopes circulating around most ex-back advice.

This is unsurprising. Most of this advice is given by sciolists and con-artists, which the industry is frothing with. These are the sorts of people who pretend to be knowledgeable on a particular topic and who exploit their potential customer’s insecurities for profit. Whether you’re aware of them or not, you’ve probably come across a few of these people already.

These supposed experts swore that if I just bought their $47 e-book and applied what’s inside, my ex would fall back in love with me in thirty to sixty days. I was promised smooth sailing through their replies, doubts, and the emotional muck apparently clogging their attraction. I was assured I could brush off any setback like dirt off my shoulders. I was sold on the idea that I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about being friend-zoned, ignored, blocked, or rejected.“Just follow my process,” they said, “and your ex will come crawling back — 97% success rate, guaran-fucking-teed!”

My God, was I a gullible idiot. And understandably so. I was still a clueless, pimple-faced teenager devoid of much relationship experience and making out with a vile case of codependency, manifesting from years of feeling neglected and unwanted.

In retrospect, it’s amusing — funny even. I never noticed that the ex-back industry is brimming with charlatans who go on to lie, deceive, and exploit to sell shoddy, often overpriced, products. I failed to notice this, even though the writing was on the wall the whole time.

I don’t want you to repeat my mistakes, as most people do, so here are some proper expectations to remember.

For one, if there were a tried-and-true way to get back with an ex, 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.

The reality, however, is that regardless of what knowledge you amass and put to use, chances are, you’ll be unable to get back with your ex. And there’s data proving this.

According to a 3,000+ participant study from Kevin Thompson of ExBackPermanently, as well as my anecdotal findings from helping people with reconciliation for the last five years, only 30% of exes get back together. And only half of those 30% stay together (and whether or not in a healthy relationship is uncertain) — the remaining half part ways shortly after reconciling.

PSA: I have since spent over a year conducting a survey on the prevalence of reconciliation. According to over 4000 people who responded, only 32% of exes get back together. Of these, roughly 18% have stayed together for over a year after reconciling. You can read more about my survey here.

Why are the odds of mending a relationship so dismal? For one, because an average ex has already moved on before they even initiated the breakup. In fact, they’ve probably been plotting and planning it for weeks or months before they’ve actually pulled the plug.

And it’s throughout this mulling period that they were able to mourn their relationship, relinquish any attachment, and get over the other person. The other person who, due to their high attraction, likely overlooked their ex’s declining interest. And with it, entirely missed their chance at turning things around.

Then there’s the fact that an average person is always yearning to rekindle their relationship for fear-based, attraction-killing reasons. Dreading there’s no one better out there. Worrying if anyone will ever love them the same way their ex did. Believing they’re not good enough for anyone else.

The issue with trying to save a relationship for these reasons is that they make a person behave in creepy, needy ways — ways that only scare their ex away. Chasing and pursuing, begging and pleading, stalking and spying, showing up at their doorstep at 3 a.m., flowers and chocolate in hand, just waiting for that sweet, sweet restraining order.

Another reason reconciliation seldom happens is because, as humans, we’re wired to adhere to bandage solutions instead of doing deep, meaningful, identity-level work. After all, the first course of action is natural and easy, while the latter is unpleasant, even painful.

So rather than resolving, for instance, our neediness, lack of assertiveness, or fear of intimacy (actual reasons an average ex’s attraction plummets), we do dumb shit like wait 6.69 days before calling back or play hard to get to keep our ex guessing where they stand and to keep up with the “mystery.”

The problem with these quick fixes is that they completely disregard the fact that relationships don’t end because two people did something wrong to each other — they end because two people are something wrong for each other. Thus, a fundamental change in both parties is required for a proper reunification.

Talking of deep, identity-level changes, most people won’t be able to realize theirs because they don’t give themselves enough damn time. This is the last reason the odds of getting back with an ex are so low.

People just can’t help but rush things. They don’t give their ex enough time to have their fun and freedom, to start missing them voluntarily, and to re-choose them at their own pace. That, or they don’t give themselves enough time to reflect on their dead relationship, address the incompatibilities and emotional issues that led to the breakup, and either resolve them or learn to manage them better. Some people, of course, also fail at both of these fronts.

In any of the three cases, a person gets either jettisoned or, even worse, recommits to their ex prematurely and ends up in a restored, yet fragile relationship composed of two wholly different and skeptical individuals, replaying the same problems and dramas over and over while being constantly reminded of why things failed in the first place.

All of this is not to say you shouldn’t give re-attraction a shot. It’s a noble cause, and there’s nothing inherently wrong about it. I do believe in second chances. And although rare, some relationships can be rekindled, and it can be a beautiful and gratifying experience. I’m just being brutally honest about the nature of the beast.

So in the name of honesty, I also want you to be fully aware of what you signed up for. Not cool re-attraction theories or some glib psychological tricks and conversational tools.

What you really signed up for, probably unknowingly, are seemingly infinite periods of waiting, uncomfortable personal growth, awkward conversations, unnecessary emotional turbulence, unreleased sexual tension, and almost certain rejection.

That’s what re-attraction really is. And anyone who tells you otherwise is selling you bullshit.

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