How to Get Your Ex Back: A Simple Guide

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

Great, I would love to show you!

To help do that, on this page I will give you a map to follow.

That means:

If you are confused about what to do or where to start, then this relationship repair guide will be a breath of fresh air for you.

After all, a lack of clarity will only slow your relationship recovery journey.

We don’t want that!

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

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

Neat, huh?

Great, let’s now take a look at:

The “Get Your Ex Back” Roadmap!

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

Let’s get to it!

1. Get Your Ex Back By Leaving 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 space to process what has happened.

This creates an opportunity for you both to arrive at a fresh perspective. One that will make your job easier.

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.

Often the key to getting your ex back is right in front of you.

You just need space to see it.

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 two steps back for every 1 step forward.

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

When to do this?

For best results you must 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 about merely utilizing distance to potentially bring you and your ex closer together at a later date.

Summary: least said, soonest mended. Take a strategic pause from your ex.

2. Get Yourself Back Before Your Ex

Man enjoying alone time at Yulong River

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

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

Also known as getting your shi*t together!

Hey, you will be a mess to start with. You are human. And rejection is supposed to hurt.

But after a while the pain will subside. And then as the weeks and months pass by you will find life to be a little less grating.

The road will get smoother and your confidence will rise. And while it is normal to have a day “here and there” where you are decidedly not OK, as long as you are mostly making improvements then it is fine.

Getting your mind straight is important because 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.”

Please 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.

Getting your ex back is partly about making your ex sit up and take notice of you. That means you need to be held together in body and mind.

Who are you really? A Oscar Wilde quote

This is an ideal time to rediscover what makes you uniquely 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 to be happy, and you ignore your value in this world.

You also risk jeopardizing 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.

Summary: my best results with clients always follows a self-improvement plan. And it is no mystery! The ex needs to see what they are missing.

3. Make The Choice: Evaluate Your Options!

Person facing a road that goes in different directions

Photo by Justin Luebke on unsplash.com

After you have sufficiently regrouped, it is time to take advantage of your improved perspective about your life and your ex and evaluate your options.

First?

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

Both for you and for your ex.

An honest appraisal of your compatibility will not be straightforward. But no less critical because of that. So I sincerely advise getting clear about this. Should you get back with your ex (or not) is a question you must answer before you continue any further.

Briefly:

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

Be real:

  1. Do you and your ex have something worth saving that is found in the other which you can build a happy future on?;
  2. Did you add value to the life of your ex (rather than take it away?)
  3. Can you and your ex work out whatever differences there were, or manage the differences that lead to the breakup, so you minimize 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 — did your ex change job or get promoted or demoted in any way that affected their happiness or ability to sustain the relationship?;
  2. Marriage — it can be different to what we expect or hope for, and become a catalyst for separation (one of those things some regret, more so for women);
  3. Children — talk about a complexifier!

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 your ex 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 (and after you are thinking clear) isn’t to figure out the fastest way to get back together. No! It is to decide whether it indeed is best to reunite at all (otherwise you should focus on letting it go and moving on.)

Some ex’s make better ex’s than current partners!

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 ex (and 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.

Summary: be sure you know what you are getting back. Is it going to make your ex (and yourself) happy?

4. Progressive Stages of Contact with Your Ex

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 the perspective of your ex, while striving to trigger minimal reactance (resistance to hearing from you!)

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

And frankly, at the start it is more about giving space for the NEGATIVE emotions to dissipate more than anything else.

But have hope!

If you do not fight against your ex and you respect their boundaries, things will improve.

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 happened leading up to the breakup.

The secret to make your ex listen to you, engage with you, and even to love you lies in having a sensitivity to what they are going through.

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

For example:

If you said something hurtful or stepped out of line or outright damaged your ex 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 particulars between you and your ex, and the events you each share in your history together.

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 rather than saying no, by gradually warming them to your potential through appropriate steps.

You want to chip away at the blockages that stand between you both that has been stemming the flow of love and attraction.

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

The result? When you eventually make a move, you will have already laid the groundwork to maximize 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 conscience — 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 with Your Ex?

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.

And yet?

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

There’s this exciting point in the journey of two separate 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.

And 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?

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. Which means success will likely contain many steps to transition from “enemy” to friend effectively, 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.

Take your time to 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.

Summary: Make your “next more” appropriate to where your ex is at emotionally and mentally. Start where they are, not where YOU wish they are.

Related content: what to do after no contact →

5. Attempting to Reconnect with Your Ex

When you reach this stage you will have already nurtured good-feelings with your ex and got yourself strong (if you did not skip any steps.)

If so, then it is at this point you need to tell your ex what you want.

Literally!

This is the time to lay the “cards on the table” because doing so will have become the next logical step for you both.

Now:

Rejoining “the couple” status is the best part of my job by far. There is nothing quite like hearing the good news that the work my client put in, paid off.

I love it!

But it does not always go smoothly…

Understand: many couples reunite. And all the more so when the one who got rejected gets coached or self-learns how to give themselves the best chance.

Yet even so, there can be setbacks. And if you are not in the know, you might think getting declined by your ex is the end of the matter.

And quit right there.

But not so fast!

Let me assure you that in my experience, taking score too soon can give you the wrong score entirely.

This is because we rarely go from a no to a yes without a maybe in between.

Therefore if you get a no when you ask for a second chance, remember that!

Plenty of loved-up couples out there had broken up previously. And you can be sure many of those who were dumped had to overcome a few rejections before getting the answer they wanted.

Think of it this way: those who gave up too soon gave themselves less chance of success simply because they quit too soon.

So if it does not happen overnight for you? Maybe it will happen over a different night in the future…

Because there is always a chance, and there is always hope. And certainly more than most realize.

I say all this because I want you to manage your expectations while keeping an open mind that often the result does not come as quickly as the heartbroken want.

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

Hey, you will know by now this truism:

Your ex must not be rushed to make a decision.

Well… it is also true that you must not be rushed to draw any conclusions about what your ex may say to you.

It works both ways.

So do everything you can to keep pressure out of every interaction you have, not just for your ex but also for you.

Now, if you are successful and they take you back 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. The 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 fulfilling and healthy relationship for the long term.

How to Get Your Ex Back: Conclusion

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.

Wow! Is This the Greatest Secret to Saving a Relationship?

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“My girlfriend and I broke up last week. I followed your instructions and we are back together” — Erick Nelson

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About the author: Michael Fulmer founded undoabreakup.com in 2011. He gives breakup recovery advice to clients all over the world. To help more people, he has also produced online programs showing men and women how to create their best chance of saving the relationship.