How to Get Back with Your Ex: A Simple Guide

Do you want to know how to get your ex back?

Great, I would love to show you!

If you are confused about what to do or where to start, then this guide is just what you need.

In short?

If you have a genuine chance of happiness together, then I am rooting for your success.

By the time you finish this short article, you will know exactly where to apply your energy next in order to save your relationship.

That means you’ll be making progression today toward getting back together.

The “Get Your Ex Back” Roadmap

Below I present the “30,000 ft view” process my clients have followed to successfully win back their ex.

Let’s get to it!

1. Take a Strategic Pause from Your Ex

Generally speaking the first thing to do after a breakup is to take a pause and step back.

There’s no debate here.

Take a strategic break to cool off and gather your thoughts so you gift your ex and yourself the space to process what has happened.

This creates an opportunity for you both to arrive at a fresh perspective.

There are many upsides to this.

For example, the clarity you will gain from taking a break will help you more readily and easily see the personal problems that have been holding you back and pushing your partner away.

Make no mistake…

In the midst of drama you won’t have the eyes to see what is right in front of you.

Composure is an advantage in any conflict.

Ignoring this phase explains why many take 2 steps back for every 1 step forward.

They are not giving themselves or their former partner appropriate space to breathe!

When to do this?

Immediately following the breakup, or after a high drama clash or “bashing of heads.”

Exceptions?

If you have children together then you must moderate the space you give so that you still fulfil your parental duties.

If you live together then you should also still maintain your household responsibilities.

As a rule? Retreat where you can, but attend to what is important.

Is this known as “no contact?”

Yes and no.

The no contact rule is a more extreme measure, and one that is not without risk.

This is simply about utilising distance to potentially bring you both closer together at a later date.

2. Get Yourself Back Before Your Ex

Man enjoying alone time at Yulong River

Often the route back in to the relationship you want to save requires you to first reconcile the relationship you have with yourself.

This means working toward and maintaining a state of relative balance and harmony as a single person.

It is not persuasive to your ex if they perceive that you want to get back together because you “need them to be happy and sane.”

It would be better if you get yourself together and whole first, and then express a preference for a second chance.

If you overlook this phase you will cut your odds of success dramatically.

Who are you really? A Oscar Wilde quote

This is an ideal time to rediscover what makes you… you. And to embrace your individuality.

There is no short cut here.

You risk making bad decisions and getting undesirable results if you operate under the mistaken belief that you need your ex in order to be happy, and you ignore your own value in this world.

You also risk jeopardising other aspects of your life as well (career, friends, family etc.)

In short, use the time during your strategic break to regroup and work on yourself (where required,) to heal and implement positive changes in your life.

And do it not for your ex or anyone else…

But for you.

The rest will follow from there.

3. Evaluate Your Options

Person facing a road that goes in different directions

Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

After you have sufficiently regrouped it is time to take advantage of your improved perspective to evaluate your options.

First?

Before you consider how to get back with your ex, it is wise to first consider the VALUE of the relationship you’re looking to save (or the relationship you believe is possible to have after putting in the work.)

Both for you and for them.

This is hard to do. Yes. But no less important because of that. So I sincerely advise getting clear on whether you should get back together (or not) before you continue any further.

Briefly:

Can you honestly say you are both better off together as a couple?

Be real:

  1. Do you both have something worth saving found in the other, that you can build a happy future on?;
  2. Did you both add value to the other (rather than take it away?)
  3. Can you both work out whatever differences there were, or manage the differences that lead to the breakup so you minimise the chance of it happening again?

You must reflect on this.

What often happens during a relationship is one or both transitions in some way that sets the two of you on a diverging path.

For example, three big and obvious transitions in life are:

  1. Career;
  2. Marriage;
  3. Children.

But there are many possible causes for a transition to occur, which can lead to either partner in the relationship to undergo a new direction (away from the other.)

It’s also common to date someone who was never compatible with us in the first place (perhaps in one of the big three above,) but who we secretly hoped to change in time.

This is a common mistake as people don’t tend to change much. It seldom happens. Certainly not in the way we would like.

If you get back with someone with unaligned hopes and dreams, you will be miserable together, and on your way to another breakup.

So..

It’s not often done or considered, but the first thing to do after a breakup (once you are thinking clear) isn’t to figure out the fastest way to get back together. No! It is to decide whether it truly is best to reunite at all (otherwise you should focus on letting it go and moving on..)

For example, if your partner was abusive or you made their life worse in ways that you can not change, then I urge you to reconsider your goal to be together again.

And if you decide or can see that your relationship is better off left in the past? There’s no shame in getting help with the moving on process.

However, if you discover through contemplation and honesty that your relationship is worth fighting for because you are reasonably sure you both are enhanced as a twosome (or can realistically achieve that result..)

Then you can proceed with gusto.

4. Progressive Stages of Contact

Once you are clear that you want your ex back and the decision is not coming from the wrong place (e.g desperation) then you are ready to navigate the various mini-phases of contact with your loved one.

What you want to do is start with the smallest step you can that aligns with where your ex is already at.

This means ensuring your contact efforts — both what you say and when — “makes sense” from your exes perspective, while striving to trigger minimal reactance (resistance to hearing from you!)

Whenever you reach out, try to soften the negative emotions you are likely to meet against so that you make space for positive emotions.

Indeed… each time you contact and interact together, your goal should be to work your way up (“up” here essentially means increasing the good feelings your ex has for you.)

There’s no way around it…

You must work according to the context of your situation and on what actually happened leading up to the breakup.

This is how you get back together after a break up naturally (rather than rely on tricks which can backfire.)

For example:

If you stepped out of line or outright damaged them with your actions (betrayal, verbal abuse, etc) you would be wise to put an appropriate amount of energy into making a good apology.

You can not expect your ex to feel good emotions toward you while you remain “the enemy” in their eyes, right?

If you did something to upset your ex then offering an appropriate and fitting apology would be just the kind of action that aligns with where your ex is at.

Make sense?

Always act according to the context of your situation.

Now, this may be the first time you reach out to your ex (depending on your circumstances) and if they feel an injustice has occurred — whether true or not — then nothing short of addressing that feeling they have will suffice!

Again, the specifics of what is required of you will come down to the specifics between you, and the events you both share in your history.

Study this image to see why jumping ahead is a bad idea:

Diagram showing how small steps can lead to a favourable outcome with a partner

Your goal is to nudge him or her closer to saying yes than saying no, by gradually warming them to your potential through appropriate steps.

Understand: this is about raising your chances before you try your “luck.”

The result? When you eventually make the move you will have already laid the groundwork to maximise your success.

Now —

Perhaps you will begin by extending an olive branch.

Perhaps you have some repairs to address before your ex can — in good conscious — entertain a two-way adult conversation.

This is a fragile time for sure, requiring sensitivity and courage to show your authentic desire to build bridges and make amends.

Just Friends?

OK, so this requires a special mention, I feel.

It’s normal to be concerned that you may become “just friends” with your ex. And forever be stuck in that dreaded friend-zone.

Yet?

Well, here’s something I’ve notice over the years:

There’s this interesting point in the journey of two separated people who’re destined to rejoin.

And that point is…

The “we’re just friends” point.

If you were to ask the one who initiated the breakup, “hey, what is happening here?”

They would essentially describe friendship back to you.

“Hey, we’re just friends. We talk, hang out sometimes. But nothing more than that.”

Friends hanging out…

And sure. It does look an awful lot like friendship.

And the one who was on the receiving end of the breakup? They would also describe it as friendship (reluctantly.) They want more, but alas it isn’t to be.

(And it’s at this point I get an email describing the hopelessness of it all, with the reader’s conclusion that “no more can be done.”)

Hmm.

Of course, the reality is that they may be taking score too soon.

MAYBE.

Because in all the breakups that makeup, taking a walk through the “friendship zone” to get there is par-the-course.

Some do it quickly.

Some slowly.

Some.. not at all.

Sure.

But….. it is not the words of your ex that tell you which it’ll be.

See…

If you are in communication with your ex, regularly, and even hanging out?

But not GOING out?

Yes. Maybe they’ve told you, “I’m not looking for a relationship.” (?)

And yes, maybe they’ve told you they don’t regret their decision to finish with you?

Well..

If so —

Don’t believe everything you hear.

Humans lie.

Every. One. Does.

Especially to themselves…

(I’ve seen enough “no way’s” change to “ok then!” to see that.)

After all, we are all deciding what to do based on how we feel at the time. Nothing more than that.

Frankly, we’re as consistent as our feelings are!

Besides..

Take a look at this awfully quick picture I drew:

Friend-zone or dead-zone? This picture shows how friendship is a GOOD thing

You would surely prefer to be in the green than the red, right?

Right.

Reconciliation is a process, not an event. This means that success will likely contain many steps to effectively transition from “enemy” to friend, and beyond.

In short, to win your ex back you probably will have to play the long game. Even if that means being a friend (gasp!) for a while.

Related content: what to do after no contact →

5. Attempting to Reconnect “The Couple”

We rarely go from a no to a yes, without a maybe in between.

Many couples reunite, that much we know (and if you forgot this, take a moment to think of the couples you personally know who had broke up previously.)

There is always a chance, and always hope.

And sometimes the makeup happens quickly!

Even so, I want you to manage your expectations accordingly as often the result does not come as quickly as the heartbroken want.

Be patient. It is an integral part of the journey itself.

Your ex must not be rushed to make a decision.

You should do everything you can to keep pressure out of every interaction you have.

Allow him or her to at least reach a “maybe” when thinking about giving the relationship another chance.

If you can do that, your chance of getting a “yes” rises immeasurably.

However if you push for a decision when they are still mostly thinking “no” then you will worsen your position and potentially undo some or all of the progress you’ve made to date.

But if you are successful, then you will naturally be…

6. Building a New Relationship

This is where you get the chance to build a new relationship.

That means a better relationship than the one you last had together.

This is an opportunity for both to learn from the past and implement safeguards to avoid falling into old destructive patterns and habits.

It is all too easy to resume the old ways and settle into the well worn grooves. Trouble is, those grooves may lead you to a future breakup (in all likelihood.)

Don’t settle.

Take it slow, yes.. but raise your game.

Get better at spotting warning signs and defusing drama early on so you get to cut out the relationship rot as you find it.

We don’t want to let resentment live unchallenged.

That stuff builds and builds and before you know it, you are back at the start of the journey.

To keep on the right path…

Remember that all successful couples have three healthy relationships:

  1. The relationship you have with yourself;
  2. The relationship they have with themselves;
  3. The relationship you both create together.

Nurture all three and you will have a wonderful and healthy relationship for the long term.

Conclusion

In order to reach a destination you first must know where you are starting from.

If you don’t know where you are, it is much more difficult to make progress!

When it comes to a breakup, in most cases you will be at one of the above six phases. Which one are you presently at?

Identify it now. Because that’s where you are “starting” from (so to speak.)

(Skipping steps will harm your chances. So don’t do that.)

The great thing is that you now know where you are, and so you know where your energy must be spent.

That means you can begin making progress to get your ex back, and you can start today.