This might get tricky, so prepare yourself.
After breaking up with someone you love, it’s natural to experience moments, or even extended periods of time, during which you want to know how to get your ex back.
Sometimes, getting back together with an ex-girlfriend or boyfriend works out, and sometimes, it decidely does not.
So before getting into the details of how to go about reconnecting with an ex, there are some important questions to ask yourself in order to establish if going down this path is the best option for you.
Reaching out to an ex can potentially cause more harm to both parties, so you want to be really clear on your motive, and intention.
Here are three critical questions to ask yourself before reaching out to your ex.
- Are you reaching out because you feel lonely?
It is completely normal to be lonely after a breakup. A partner takes up time and space, as well as a lot of your emotions, so it is very common to feel like there is suddenly a big hole in your life.
If you find that you are trying to reconnect with your ex to fill that hole, perhaps you should choose a different course of action first.
Fill your time with friends. Go on dates with new people. Take up a new hobby you have always wanted to try, but couldn’t when you were in a relationship because you had no time.
Get to know yourself again, and then, if you still find yourself wanting to reconnect, ask yourself the next question.
- Has something significant changed to make you now believe the two of you are meant to be together?
Break ups happen for a reason. Sometimes it is something major, like a big move, someone being unfaithful, or another big life change. Sometimes you grow apart. Sometimes you decide you have different goals.
Whatever the reason, there is no sense in pretending there was no reason at all.
Instead, examine the reasons for the break up and ask yourself if things have changed. Is there new information? Are you both ready to have a mature conversation? To really answer that, let’s ask the next question.
- Have you each done some healing in order to ready yourselves for reconciliation?
Break ups cause harm. Even the most amicable break ups create ruptures in our bodies, minds and hearts. In order to reconnect, it is important to identify that harm, take accountability for it, apologize and move forward in a good way.
Have you taken some time for yourself? Have you established some self-care routines? Have you identified healthy ways of coping?
If you answered yes, let’s move on to the how.
Getting an ex back is not as simple as just following a step-by-step process. There is no formula that can guarantees someone will decide they want to be with you again, not only because hearts were likely broken along the way, but also because you do not get to decide how anyone else feels now that it is all over (or ever, for that matter).
What you can do is reach out and be honest about how you feel.
1. Reach out to them
Send them a brief email or text message, asking if they would like to get a coffee or go for a walk.
Do not bombard them with your feelings on paper without warning, as that can feel overwhelming. Do not take any hints from romantic comedies and try sweeping them off their feet with a grand gesture. If they are not ready for that, you will only push them further away and embarrass them (and yourself).
Be prepared for the reality that they might need time, or even say no completely. That is their prerogative. And if they do agree to meet you, thank them. Be grateful. Be kind. Move on.
If you answered yes to the last question above, you have self-care and coping skills in place to help you manage the feelings this rejection might bring up.
2. Talk to them
When you begin talking again, start small.
Be honest. Be genuine. Trust your instincts.
Talk about the parts of your relationship that did not work, and then discuss how you would like to do things differently this time. Discuss your goals, and your long-term plans.
Then give each other space to really think about whether you want to get back together.
3. Pay attention
If you do decide to try again, be careful to watch for signs that you are falling back into old patterns.
If you notice shifts in your body, pay attention to them. If you notice shifts in your relationship, good or bad, talk about them.
Check in with each other lots. Check in with your closest friends lots, as well, to make sure you are maintaining balance in your life and that you don’t lose all the work you did when you were single.
Getting back together with an ex is tricky business.
For some, it is how they find their forever person. For others, it is repeating harmful narratives.
Figure out your why, ask them about their why and then figure out the how together.