Setting Realistic Expectations for Getting Back Together

You’re here because you want to get back with your ex after a breakup. You’re not alone. Many people have the same goal and hope for a second chance. But before you try to reconnect, you need to set realistic expectations for yourself and your ex. This guide will show you how by giving you some facts, tips, and a common mistake you must avoid.

So, what’s the deal here?

I’ve helped thousands of people get back with their exes, often recommending setting realistic expectations as a key step. Knowing what to expect and what not to expect is crucial. If you don’t think about it carefully, you might end up disappointed, frustrated, or hurt.

Don’t worry; I’ll make sure you know what to do. Let’s get to it.

What Are Realistic Expectations for Getting Back Together?

Realistic expectations for getting back together are those that are based on facts, logic, and evidence, not on wishful thinking, fantasies, or assumptions. They are those that acknowledge the reality of the situation, the challenges, and the possibilities, not those that ignore them, deny them, or exaggerate them.

  • Nature of the expectations: These expectations are objective, rational, and flexible, meaning they are not influenced by emotions, biases, or rigid beliefs. They are open to change and adaptation based on new information and feedback.
  • Causes: These expectations are formed by analysing the breakup, the relationship, and the ex, meaning they are not based on random guesses, rumours, or hearsay. They are based on facts, patterns, and behaviours that can be observed and verified.
  • Benefits: These expectations have positive effects on the outcome, the process, and the self, meaning they are not detrimental, harmful, or counterproductive. They are helpful, constructive, and empowering.

Why Set Realistic Expectations?

Here are three reasons to get you started:

  1. It helps you prepare for the best and the worst scenarios, meaning you are not caught off guard, shocked, or devastated by whatever happens. You are ready to face any situation with confidence and resilience.
  2. It helps you avoid wasting time, energy, and resources on unrealistic or impossible goals, meaning you are not chasing after something that is not there, not available, or not worth it. You are focusing on what matters and what works.
  3. It helps you improve yourself and your relationship quality, meaning you are not settling for less, compromising your values, or repeating your mistakes. You are striving for more, enhancing your skills, and learning from your experiences.

How Do I Do It?

Well, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but I can give you some general guidelines to follow. As a rule of thumb:

  • Do your research: Gather as much information as you can about the breakup, the relationship, and the ex. What were the reasons, the problems, and the dynamics? How did you and your ex feel, think, and act? What are the current circumstances, the changes, and the signals?
  • Be honest: Assess yourself and your ex objectively and realistically. What are your strengths, weaknesses, and goals? What are your ex’s strengths, weaknesses, and goals? What are the compatibility, the compatibility, and the potential between you and your ex?
  • Be flexible: Adjust your expectations according to the situation and the feedback. What are the facts, the logic, and the evidence? What are the challenges, the opportunities, and the risks? What are the best and the worst possible outcomes?

What’s a Common Mistake to Avoid?

A common mistake is being too optimistic or too pessimistic, meaning you are either overestimating or underestimating your chances, your ex’s feelings, or your relationship’s future.

  • Being too optimistic: This means you are ignoring the negative aspects, exaggerating the positive aspects, or assuming the best-case scenario. For example, you might think that your ex still loves you, that your relationship was perfect, or that getting back together will be easy and fast.
  • Being too pessimistic: This means you are ignoring the positive aspects, exaggerating the negative aspects, or assuming the worst-case scenario. For example, you might think that your ex hates you, that your relationship was doomed, or that getting back together will be impossible and painful.

Both of these mistakes can lead to disappointment, frustration, or hurt. They can also sabotage your efforts, your progress, and your results.

The solution? Find a balance between optimism and pessimism. Be hopeful but realistic. Be positive but cautious. Be confident but humble.

It seems simple: be realistic. And yet, today, more than ever, it is more than just being rational and logical. So let’s look at a few frequently asked questions in no particular order.

Is setting realistic expectations for getting back together a sign of giving up or settling?

No, it is not a sign of giving up or settling. It is a sign of being smart and strategic. It is a sign of respecting yourself and your ex. It is a sign of wanting the best for both of you.

Listen: Having accurate expectations for getting back together does not mean you are lowering your standards, compromising your values, or accepting less than you deserve. It means you are being honest, practical, and adaptable. It means you are being proactive, not reactive.

How do I know if my expectations are realistic or not?

There are a few things to consider when looking for clues that your expectations are realistic or not. In terms of helping you get back with your ex, the most obvious sign is that your expectations are aligned with the facts, the logic, and the evidence, not with your wishes, your fantasies, or your assumptions.

It does not get better than that.

And if you find your expectations to be consistent with your ex’s feelings, actions, and signals, you have firsthand evidence of why they are realistic.

Another clue: if your expectations are achievable, measurable, and time-bound, you know that they are realistic. They are not vague, unrealistic, or indefinite.

Should I share my expectations with my ex?

It depends. Sharing your expectations with your ex can be a good or a bad idea, depending on the situation, the timing, and the way you do it.

It can be a good idea when:

  • You and your ex are on the same page, meaning you have similar or compatible expectations for getting back together.
  • You and your ex are ready to communicate, meaning you have completed the no-contact rule and have re-established contact positively and respectfully.
  • You and your ex are open to feedback, meaning you are willing to listen, understand, and adjust your expectations based on each other’s input.

It can be a bad idea when:

  • You and your ex are not on the same page, meaning you have different or conflicting expectations for getting back together.
  • You and your ex are not ready to communicate, meaning you are still in the no-contact rule or have not re-established contact in a positive and respectful way.
  • You and your ex are not open to feedback, meaning you are stubborn, defensive, or dismissive of each other’s input.

The bottom line is that sharing your expectations with your ex can be a helpful or harmful step, depending on how you do it and when you do it. So be careful and thoughtful about it.

And finally:

When you must adjust your expectations for getting back together (important!)

There are situations where it makes sense to adjust your expectations for getting back together and be more or less realistic, depending on the circumstances. Let me start by outlining the obvious: if your expectations are not working for you, meaning they are causing you more harm than good, they need to change. After all, no one likes to feel stuck, hopeless, or delusional about getting back with their ex. That’s why adjusting your expectations for getting back together is important. It can help you:

  • Move on from the past, meaning you are not holding on to something that is over, gone, or changed. You are accepting the reality of the breakup and the consequences.
  • Improve yourself in the present, meaning you are not neglecting yourself, your needs, or your goals. You are taking care of yourself, your health, and your happiness.
  • Prepare yourself for the future, meaning you are not limiting yourself, your options, or your potential. You are exploring yourself, your interests, and your opportunities.

But ~when~ should you adjust your expectations for getting back together? Here are some situations where it makes sense to do so:

  • When your expectations are not realistic, meaning they are not based on facts, logic, or evidence. They are based on wishes, fantasies, or assumptions.
  • When your expectations are not aligned with your ex’s expectations, meaning they are different or conflicting. They are not compatible or complementary.
  • When your expectations are not working, meaning they are not helping you get back with your ex. They are hurting you, your ex, or your relationship.

In these situations, you need to re-evaluate your expectations and make some changes. You need to be more or less realistic, depending on the case. You need to find a balance between optimism and pessimism. You need to be hopeful but realistic. You need to be positive but cautious. You need to be confident but humble.

That’s how you set realistic expectations for getting back together.

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About the author: i’m a relationship coach specialising in breakup recovery. i’ve been doing this for 12+ years helping thousands worldwide. i created the Breakup Dojo, a popular program with over 1,000 members. i’ve authored several in-demand breakup recovery products, drawing from my deep fascination with psychology. i also publish the “ex-communication” newsletter that’s packed with actionable advice to over 10,000 subscribers worldwide.