How to get your ex back when they don’t have feelings for you
How to Get Back an Ex That You Dumped
We all make mistakes, and sometimes we let go of the people we love and care about the most. If you have broken up with a great person and regret that decision, there are steps you can take to get back together with him or her. You will have to be careful and take your time in order to make sure that the relationship can last for the long term. But if you do, you might find that your hard work will pay off.
Processing the Breakup on Your Own
Take your time in order to avoid relationship cycling.Relationship cycling is a toxic pattern of breaking up and making up. While cycling can be intoxicating, it is harmful to the development of long-lasting, stable relationships. Be sure to give yourself some time--a few weeks to a few months--before reconnecting in order to avoid this negative pattern.
Grieve the relationship fully before considering a reunion.Even though you were the dumper during the breakup, you will still likely grieve the end of the relationship for several weeks. Be sure that you are not still in the stages of grief for a failed relationship--that might force you to reconnect with an ex too soon or for the wrong reasons.
- The stages of grief are denial, bargaining, depression, anger, and acceptance.Until you have reached the acceptance phase, any urge you have to rekindle a relationship with an ex should be viewed with suspicion.
Enjoy your life as a single person.Be happy with yourself for a while before reaching out to your ex. Take up a hobby, reconnect with old friends, learn a new skill. Not only will focusing on yourself help you recover from the breakup, but you will be a more interesting and more appealing person when you do reconnect with your ex.
Take care of yourself physically.Breakups can cause emotional pain that your body registers as physical pain. Be sure that you are treating yourself well physically as well as emotionally.Exercise regularly, eat well, sleep well, and avoid heavy drinking.
Figure out exactly why you dumped your ex.Not all breakups are bad--if a relationship stifled your self-growth, perhaps it is better that you broke up. Consider writing down how you feel in order to process your emotions and get an objective sense of why you broke up with your ex.Make sure that you are not interested in your ex simply out of loneliness. If you do not like or respect your ex, and if you do not think the relationship is fixable, you should not get back together with him or her.
Evaluate whether things have changed.If the reason for the initial breakup still exists, you might try to resist the urge to back together with your ex. For example, if you broke up with your ex because the stresses of a long-distance relationship were too great, do not try to reconnect with your ex if you still live far apart. If, however, you think that the two of you have moved well past the reason for the breakup, reconnecting could be a great idea. For example, if you find yourself finally living in the same city as your ex, you might consider getting back in touch.
Decide that you want to get back together with your ex.More than 1/3 of couples who live together and 1/4 of married couples have broken up at one point or another.And almost half of young adults reunite with an ex.You are not alone, and there can be very good reasons why you might reasonably reconnect with an ex.
Befriending Your Ex
Make initial contact.This can be a nerve-wracking and difficult step, but it is necessary if you want to rekindle a romance. Consider using a form of communication that will allow your ex some time to think before responding to you, such as an email, letter, or text message. This also has the benefit of allowing you to choose your words carefully and to edit your initial message.
Keep your contact short and simple, and put the ball in your ex's court.An initial contact is not the time to dump all of your feelings onto your ex. Instead, be honest but judicious in what you tell him or her. You should also make sure that your ex has the opportunity to respond, so that you can begin to see whether your ex might be open to re-establishing contact. Some possible scripts include:
- "Hi! I have been thinking about you a lot, and so I wanted to get in touch. How have you been?"
- "Dear [insert ex's name], I know it has been a long time since we talked, but I realize that I miss you a lot. It would be great if we could catch up sometime. Let me know what you think about that!"
- "I just heard a song on the radio that made me think of you. I know that I am probably not your favorite person right now, but I would love it if we could hang out soon. How does that sound?"
Do not come on too strong.If your ex does not respond to your message, consider that a signal that your ex would prefer that you kept your distance. If your ex requests explicitly that you do not contact him or her, you should honor that request. Let the ball stay in your ex's court, and hopefully your ex will be pleased that you got in touch.
Propose a neutral activity.If your ex responds in a positive way to your message, suggest an activity that friends might do together, such as go out for a lunch or a coffee, take a walk in a local park, or attend a book-reading. Keep the conversation friendly and upbeat if you can, and avoid serious topics for now--you have serious issues to work out, but you can work on the serious issues a little later. Taking your time is essential.
- Show genuine interest in how your ex has been doing. Ask about their job, their family, their hobbies. Be happy for them if they have been accomplishing great things, even if it was without you.
- Be aware that your ex might have moved on already. Perhaps your ex started dating somebody else or is even in a serious relationship. If your ex seems happy in a new relationship, consider scuttling your plans to rekindle a romantic relationship and instead focus on your friendship.
Follow your ex's lead.It is likely that your ex will have some complicated feelings after being dumped by you. Perhaps your ex feels ambivalent or angry towards you, or perhaps feels lost and has low self-esteem.Your ex might be excited about your friendship one day, and hesitant the next. Always respect your ex's wishes, and be patient as the two of you get to know each other again.
Take your time.Move slowly, and be aware that you might have to leave your partner again. The most dangerous thing you can do is force the relationship to progress too quickly. If you move slowly, you and your ex will be able to evaluate your feelings at each step of the way, and you will avoid unnecessary disappointment.
Do not have sex right away.Even though it is common to use sex to reconnect with an ex, having sex too soon can simply restart a problematic break-up/make-up relationship cycle.If you want to create a lasting relationship instead of a fling with your ex, you will have to let things progress at a slow pace.
Be realistic in your expectations.Perhaps your ex has started dating somebody else, or perhaps your ex won't want any contact with you. Try to be generous and understanding as you start feeling out where the two of you are comfortable.
Processing the Breakup with Your Ex
Prepare for a hard conversation.In order for your friendship to grow into something more, you will have to address the elephant in the room: why you broke up, and how you can move past it. Consider keeping a journal or talking with a close friend about your feelings before you bring them up with your ex.
Tell your ex you would like to schedule a serious talk.You do not want your ex to feel blindsided or tricked. Instead, be honest and direct.Try to set something specific down in your schedules so that both of you will come prepared to talk about some hard topics. Some scripts include:
- "I'm so glad that we are friends again, but I think it might be a good idea for us to revisit what exactly went wrong in our romantic relationship. Do you think we could talk about that sometime next week?"
- "I've been thinking a lot about why it is we broke up in the first place. Is that something you've been thinking about too? Perhaps we should schedule a time to discuss it. How is this Thursday looking for you?"
Have a conversation about why the relationship ended.Find a neutral location without a lot of noise or distractions, so that the two of you can hash out what needs to be hashed out.Try not to get angry or overly upset, even if you begin talking about upsetting things. Also be sure that you are not accusing or blaming your ex for your relationship troubles.
Use active listening techniques to hear your ex's concerns and feelings.Because your ex is the one who was dumped, your ex might have a lot to get off his or her chest. Listen carefully to what your ex has to say, even if it is painful for you.These include using "I" statements, trying to restate your ex's words in your own language, and avoiding accusatory statements or patronizing tones.
- Make sure that you listen to your ex in a cooperative way, not in an adversarial way. You want to prevent this conversation from becoming an argument. Remember that this conversation is a positive thing and an opportunity for growth.
Apologize for the part you played in the breakup.In order for the two of you to get back together, you will need to apologize for the role you played in ending the relationship and for any hurts you caused. Be sincere, and be honest about how you can demonstrate that your ex can trust you again. Apologies take four steps
- State clearly that you are remorseful for what happened.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Find a way to make it up to your ex.
- Promise that you will change, and then keep that promise.
Re-introducing Romance into the Relationship
Tell your ex that you want to get back together.Explain that you are hoping that your breakup--as painful as it was--is the starting point of something new and deeper.State clearly and directly that you are hoping that the two of you might get back together. Some scripts include:
Tell your ex how you have grown since the breakup.While breakups are emotionally draining, they can sometimes help people learn about themselves and grow into better people.Show your ex that you are not the same person who dumped him or her, and explain how you have become a better, more mature partner.
Use positive actions to show how you've changed.Because your ex might be skeptical, it is important to back up your words with positive actions. Be sure that you are constantly working to improve the mistakes of your past.For example, if your ex is concerned that you do not communicate well, study up on communication techniques. Or if your ex is worried about how emotionally available you are, make time to support your ex when he or she is going through a difficult time.
- Your ex might be especially worried that you might dump him or her again.Be patient with your ex's (understandable) anxiety. While you cannot guarantee what the future holds, you can guarantee that you will work and try your hardest to deepen the relationship and support your partner.
Don't set your expectations too high.Even if you have done everything right, it is possible that your ex will not want to reunite with you romantically. Or perhaps your ex will need time to think before making any decisions. But no matter what, you should be proud of all the work that you put into improving yourself and your friendship with your ex. Your hard work will pay you dividends in the long run, even if you did not win your ex back successfully.
Making Sure the Relationship Lasts
Tell yourself that this new relationship is different from the old one.For the long-term success of a rekindled relationship, it is important that you remember that you are trying to set a new path for your romance. Try to envision your reunion with your ex as a new relationship, not just a re-hashing of the old, unsuccessful relationship. Remember that you are getting back together with an old love, but you are doing so in a new, more mature way.Your goal is not to repeat the mistakes of the past, so do not dwell on the past: instead learn from it and move on.
Create a plan for how the relationship will continue to grow into the future.Rekindled relationships are more likely to succeed if there are clear expectations for how the relationship will grow and develop. Similarly, there need to be clear expectations about how both parties will remedy some of the mistakes that led to the initial break up.Set goals and check-ins to make sure the relationship is progressing as it should, and that you are not falling back into old patterns.
Date for a while before making any serious commitments.While it might be tempting to put the relationship into overdrive and make a permanent commitment immediately, remember that the best way to avoid a toxic cycle is to be slow and mindful as your new relationship progresses.Do not do anything permanent such as proposing or moving in together until your rekindled relationship has stabilized and is on a positive path. Instead, try low-key ways to reconnect romantically, such as go on romantic dates, go away for a romantic weekend, or cook your ex a nice meal.
Don't use the breakup as ammunition during arguments.Because the two of you were exes in the not-too-distant past, there might be old hurts to blame each other for or old wounds to re-open. Resist the temptation to fling any of these resentments at your (now former) ex, even during times of stress or turmoil.Arguments are healthy: constantly bringing up old, resolved issues are not.
Use loving rituals to express how much you care.People who reunite after a breakup can sometimes feel less secure in their relationships, even if it is going well.Find external, tangible ways to show your former ex that you care and that you are not just going to dump him or her again.These rituals can include:
- Going for a weekly date.
- Giving a nice gift.
- Verbally affirming your love and devotion.
- Expressing your appreciation when your partner does something kind or helpful.
- Participating in your partner's hobbies and causes.
- Do not rush into anything, and do not push your ex into doing something he or she does not want to do. If you want a relationship with your ex to last, things have to progress slowly and naturally and with the full participation of both you and your ex.
- Give yourself things to do that do not involve winning your ex back: focus on your job, hobbies, friendships, or family members. If things do not work out with your ex, you will need a support system in place.
Video: 5 Steps to get your ex to come crawling back
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