The saying is definitely true; Breaking up is hard to do. What they don’t include is the other part that so often accompanies a breakup: the desire to make up!
Winning your ex-girlfriend back might feel like an impossible task right now. There’s likely so much emotion, anger and resentment on one or both sides, or so many things you feel you need to overcome in order to inspire her to even reconsider reconciliation, that it feels like you’ll never succeed, no matter how hard you try. On top of this, you’re likely feeling insecure about yourself and what you have to offer her. After all, if she wanted to be with you, you’d be together right now. Right?
Not necessarily. There are lots of reasons why a couple can break up, and many of them–most of the, in fact–can be resolved with the right attitude and the right approach. Without further ado, let me introduces you to the three ‘R’s of winning your ex back: Recovery, Rekindling, and Re-attraction.
Understanding these stages and knowing how to execute them is vital to successfully winning back your ex, and–much like the seven stages of grief–you can’t just skip the first two and jump to the happy ending. So be patient, and take note. This is important.
By now you’ve probably heard of the well-known breakup strategy the No Contact Rule. If you haven’t, in a nutshell, the No Contact Rule states that if you want any chance of rekindling your relationship and re-attracting your ex-partner after a breakup, you first have to stop all contact with her for a recommended period of 30 days. During this time, your only job is to recover from the shock and sorrow that you’re naturally going to feel about suddenly becoming single, and build yourself back up into eligible and desirable boyfriend material. For more information on the No Contact Rule and how to make the best of it, check out my article “Does No Contact Work to Get Your Ex-Girlfriend Back?“
Whatever the reason for your breakup, there will be elements of your life that you neglected during your relationship. Now is the time to rediscover your interests and passions. You can do this in any number of ways, such as taking up new hobbies, getting back in the gym, learning Spanish like you’ve always meant to–whatever it is that will keep your mind off of your breakup and on things that make you feel like you’re bettering your life.
While you do this, it’s important to avoid thinking about your ex as much as possible. To help with this, remove reminders of her from your home and life. You don’t have to throw everything away, but putting anything that belongs to her or reminds you of her in a box out of sight will help you keep them out of your thoughts. After all, out of sight, out of mind. Similarly, avoid going to places you might run into her, and if your main friendship group is also hers, let your friends know that you don’t want to talk about her, so they should stop you if you get started. This will help remove her from your immediate thoughts when you’re with them, and prevent you from talking about her to them all the time–a good move for you and for them! After all, hearing non-stop about a friend’s breakup SUCKS.
If your ex tries to contact you during this time, great! This is a very promising sign for your future prospects together. But it’s important for now that you remain aloof. Send her a short response; something like “Great to hear from you! I’m just heading out the door, I’m meeting a friend for dinner. Hope you’re doing well :)” and leave it at that. The longer you keep your distance at this point, the better your opportunity to recover and regain composure so you don’t find yourself sobbing or unable to articulate your feelings when you actually sit down for a serious talk. Not only that, but this kind of aloofness will also have your ex wondering what you’re up to and who you’re spending time with. All this means that she will continue to miss you and want you back.
Take the No Contact period to work out your feelings, your hopes and dreams for your life, and to understand where (or indeed if) your ex fits into them. Perhaps you’ll realize that you’ve let other priorities in your life fall by the wayside, and want to reassert them in your life; after all, is she more important than the career goals you might have put on hold to be with her? Only you can decide. It’s important to take this time to ask yourself such questions, because maybe you’ll realize that she’s your number one and you want to do everything in your power to build a happy life with her. Or maybe you’ll realize that that relationship has been holding you back. Often when we’re heartbroken we just want to do anything we can to fix it so we’ll stop feeling the pain of loneliness. We get so fixated on doing this that we aren’t truly honest with ourselves about whether it’s the best course of action.
Wherever you find yourself on this spectrum, this short period of 30 days will be hugely beneficial to you and every one of your future relationships. After all, self-improvement is always a positive choice, and it will help you to recover and move ahead with the process to the rekindling stage.
A significant element that contributed to your breakup (as it does to everyone’s) was a loss of attraction. For whatever reason, your ex’s feelings of attraction for you deteriorated enough to make her want to break up with you. It could be that she found you less physically attractive, or that some detail of your personality is to blame for her dwindling desire for you. While this may sound harsh, it’s just a matter of fact, and it happens to everyone at some point in a relationship, even the strongest ones! The trick is to know that it can be resolved: you can revive your ex’s attraction for you, and it can be done in a number of ways.
This is the rekindling process, in which you rebuild your mutual attraction and rekindle your ex’s desire to re-enter into a relationship with you.
The first thing you need to do (aside from continuing with the endeavours you started in the recovery stage), is to identify one to three reasons for your ex’s loss of attraction for you. I know this sounds unpleasant, but it’s important both for the health of your future relationship(s) and your personal growth.
Perhaps you were needy and jealous and it caused arguments all the time that she just couldn’t put up with anymore. Maybe you hate your job and as a result have lost your professional and personal motivation, just coming home to eat pizza and drink beer on the couch every week night.
While it might be challenging to pinpoint the exact reasons why she lost attraction for you, the likelihood is that it came up in conversation several times before you broke up. It’s your job, as the one who wants to fix this relationship, to identify and address those issues so that they no longer exist to turn your ex off.
Next, you need to bring these improvements to your ex’s attention in a way that will make her miss you. Start by making sure that your active social life–and all the other ways you’ve been improving your quality of life–are visible for her to find. Social media is the best and most obvious platform for this, but don’t underestimate word of mouth, either! Spending time with close mutual friends is another way to help news of your busy and enriching lifestyle reach her.
The effect of this is what we in the business call “covert jealousy”; you’re indirectly inspiring feelings of jealousy in your ex by showing her that you’re doing well after the breakup–and that you’re desirable to others. After all, whether you like it or not, we desire things more (including people!) when others desire them. You can find more ways to rekindle your ex’s feelings for you in my article “3 Ways to Make An Ex-Girlfriend Miss You“.
The final step in the rekindling stage is making first contact. And I’m not talking about a deep heart-to-heart over the phone–that’s not a good idea!
Your first contact with your ex should be light and fun and totally without deep feelings. Think of it as a continuation of your self-improvement and of covert jealousy: it’s meant to continue the idea in her mind that you’re doing great and handling the breakup well, so even if you aren’t, keep it light in tone and brief in length. Try something like, “Hey! It’s been a while. I hope you and your family had a great trip! Take care :)”.
This text does several things simultaneously: first off, as we’ve discussed, it establishes that you’re in a good place and reaching out to her in a friendly and happy way. Second, it shows her that you’re still around, even if you’re not romantically engaged. Third, it lightly lets her know that she’s on your mind. And fourth, it starts the conversation.
This is key: first contact is not about getting to a resolution or getting back together. That will take work and there’s no point in scaring her off at this point when you’ve done so much work during the No Contact period!
When she replies, be sure to leave some time before you respond; you don’t want her thinking you’re waiting on the other end of the phone for her to get back to you. At this point you’re just testing the water to see how she responds. Is she warm and friendly or cold and short? Does she ignore you entirely? This will let you know how to proceed with the re-attraction stage.
If she doesn’t reply to your text, don’t worry and don’t send a second text right away. Give it a few days and, if she still hasn’t replied, send her something like, “Hey, it’s me again. Not sure if you got my text the other day but I just wanted to let you know that I hope you’re doing okay and I’m here for you if you need me. Take care of yourself.”
The end of the rekindling phase and the beginning of the re-attraction stage takes place when you arrange to meet in person. Again, the premise of this meeting is just to catch up. Keep the reason for meeting completely unromantic. You haven’t seen each other in a while and you’d just like to catch up as friends. Once you’re together, you can gauge the mood from there. It might be that she she falls immediately into your arms, crying from relief at seeing you and being in your company again. Or it may be that she’s completely unreadable, in which case you’re obviously not going to proclaim your undying love for her just yet.
While I don’t have time to go into every detail right now, here are a couple things to keep in mind. First, prepare some conversation points. Stay away from your relationship and breakup! You should be keeping conversation friendly and away from the emotionally loaded subject of your future together. If she does bring it up, say something like, “I know there’s a lot to talk about, but to be honest . . . I’m enjoying just hanging out with you right now. Let’s just enjoy catching up a bit before we talk about things that might get heavy,” and then continue talking about whatever you were talking about.
Second, be aware of your body language. Stay loose and relaxed and avoid nervous fidgeting. Look her in the eye as you speak and feel free to lean in towards her, but keeping a respectful distance. Keep these three words front of mind: Confidence, Conviction and Energy. Most importantly: try to have fun. After all, if you want her back I’m assuming she makes you feel good and you enjoy her company! No matter how you feel things have changed, she’s not very different to the person you knew a month or so ago.
When it comes to seducing her, it may not happen at this first meeting, but that doesn’t mean she’s not feeling renewed attraction for you. Again, your mantra of Confidence, Conviction and Energy will do a lot to inspire those feelings in her, as will your body language, brief moments of touching (to her hand, arm, or knee). Again, it’s important to “read the room”! Don’t make sexual advances or lingering touches if you’re getting the feeling that she’s not into it. If you’re unsure, watch out for these IOIs (that’s Indicators of Interest):
For more on seducing your ex, check out my article “How to Seduce an Ex“. Whatever happens next, don’t be pushy, and do be considerate. You’ve been away from each other for a while and have a lot to work through, so sleeping together right away, no matter how tempting it might be, is probably not the best idea. If she seems vulnerable or confused, give her the time and space that she needs to go home and think about things, and let her know you’ll be ready to talk it through when she is. If she knows she can trust you and that you’re there for her when she’s ready, she will feel happy and supported and likely fall in love with you all over again.
And there you have it! That’s how you take your relationship status from breaking up to making up! Now all you have to do is be worthy of her and make sure she’s worthy of you! Don’t let someone treat you poorly. Don’t let yourself be someone who treats others poorly. Be kind, loving and respectful to each other and you’ll achieve beautiful things as a couple! Sounds good, right?