How to Get Your Ex Back: Your To-Do List

Almost always, you crave the intimacy and familiarity of an ex-lover. It’s a universal feeling; thus, we turn to everyone (and the Internet) to find ways to rekindle love. But before asking how to get your ex back, you’ll need to answer the why first.

Couple Breakup

If one were to categorize a breakup, there seems to be two. There’s the bittersweet kind where you mutually agree to end the relationship.

The other is a tricky curveball. Because you didn’t see it coming (and you didn’t expect that it’s your beloved who will be throwing it), there’s no way in hell that you would have dodged it—even at the last minute. As a result, the ball hit you right square to the face leaving you stunned and bleeding.

The first kind of breakup seems to allude that you had some time to process your feelings. But in truth, no amount of dilly-dallying can cushion the blow of an ending relationship. After all, losing your lover is like losing a limb. You got so used to being one-half of a whole; now, you have to relearn how to be just you again.

However, sometimes you consciously decide against moving on. You think he or she was the one, and like many others, you strive to get your ex back.

But wait, hold that thought. Did you know there are some things you have to do, on your own, before you can even dare to reignite the spark? Check out this to-do list first, before you set out and woo your ex.

So, why should you get your ex back?

Couple about to breakup

We hate raining on your parade, but your love won’t be enough to drive your ex back into your arms. Why? Well, if it’s not because of a loveless relationship, then you wouldn’t have to break up in the first place.

You broke up for a reason (or more), so let’s unravel what these may be. Honest assessment and self-reflection go a long way towards healing and decisive actions.

It’s easier to reflect if you have guide questions; thus, grab a pen and paper or your handy smartphone.

Be candid and answer these questions until you exhausted your reasons:

Where did it go wrong?

Have you noticed how the question asks you about the relationship (it) and not the person (I, he, or she) involved? A breakup makes you vulnerable, and the barrage of negative emotions may remove your ability to think logically. In short, you play the blame game, which is not helpful at all.

Take your time and list down all the reasons that ultimately led to the end of your relationship. Also, include all the underlying issues you had aired out or kept private. Jot down the things you did that irked your partner, too.

Through this exercise, you become the detached third-person POV who coolly surveys what your relationship has become. Without the usual feelings of betrayal, anger, and hurt, you gain a different perspective and even identify the areas you could have worked improved.

Have I changed?

Go back to the list of things your partner complained about you. Now, before this becomes a pity party, remember to differentiate quirks from traits. If they hate your penchant for vintage clothes or your love of the great big outdoors, then know that the problem is not you.

Man Emoting

But, if you blow your measly pay to buy clothes, then scrounge for your necessities, or if you continuously miss plans and obligations to travel and unwind, then your ex might be onto something. Your once-lover might be rebuking you for your own sake.

So, before you do as much as slide into their DMs, check to see if you have changed. Genuine change, mind you.

If you try to get back together without improvements, then you may find yourself locked in the same old patterns and arguments.

By the way, this exercise goes both ways.

Have they changed?

It takes two to tango, so you also have a list of negative traits you wish your partner will change.

How would you know what your ex has been up to? You may consider talking to mutual friends or their family members that you were close to. In communicating with these people, be candid and admit that you’ll be trying to get your ex back. That way, they’ll be more sympathetic and will even try to help you make sense of the situation if there’s no change at all.

It’s best if your ex doesn’t get the wrong idea (something along the lines that you’re pining for them), so choose a friend or relative whom you know will respect your wish for secrecy.

Is it worth the hassle?

You don’t need us to tell you that the road to get your ex back is long and winding. Pause and ask if this is what your heart desires. Be honest about your commitment now, rather than invest your time and energy only to chicken out at the last minute. You don’t want to subject yourself to another round of pain, do you?

If you’re not so sure about your decision, you can try casually meeting up with new people. Be frank and tell your date you’re fresh out of a breakup. You aren’t looking for anything serious—just a little flirting and fun. Dating sites encouraging you to make new acquaintances can help you get started.

A breakup is never easy, but the decision (and necessary actions) making up entails is demanding, too. Make sure your heart is in the right place, and that your plans to get your ex back is for both of your sakes.

The No Contact Rule

Ask your friends, your parents, or the Internet: imposing the no contact rule after a breakup is considered the customary course of action.

As the name aptly suggests, it means no contacting your ex. Before the heydays of social media, this rule mostly dictates you don’t talk (if you see them), call, or text him or her. Now, it’s range grew to include the various functionalities of your social media accounts.

Sending a DM, viewing their stories, reacting and commenting on their posts are the basics, and if you had a pretty amicable split. Sometimes, people go the extra mile to unfollow, mute, or even block their ex on all social media platforms.

Sad man with phone

Now, if you cut off all access and points of contact, it usually means you’re far from entertaining the possibility of a rekindled romance. So, for this to-do list, let us assume that you only settled for not engaging in any contact; they can pretty much text or chat you if they wish.

Girl in Bench
Doesn’t it seem counterproductive?

It’s drilled in your head that communication is critical. This is why it seems that the no-contact rule is counterproductive to get your ex back.

But, did you know that choosing not to contact each other is already a form of communication? It sends the subtle message that you’re giving space, but you’re not completely shutting down the possibility of a renewed connection.

Other than this message, the no-contact rule also allows both parties to heal and work out their emotions first. Nothing good comes out of an angry mouth; it’s best if you initiate contact once you’re calm, collected, and confident.

Lastly, the no-contact rule works like a charm because absence makes the heart grow fonder. Imagine, your ex was the first person you ran to and vice versa. You had access to each other. The breakup and lack of communication will surely stir your ex-lover’s curiosity; they’ll miss you more and wonder what you’ve been up to.

How long is long?

For how long the radio-silence takes will depend on you, but it’s usually helpful to stick within a month or six. Reconnecting years after your last conversation is not unheard of; however, at this point, it seems like you already gave up the chances to get your ex back actively and left it all to fate: Que sera, sera, and all that.

Naturally, you’ll have a lot of spare time in your hands now that you’re single. While enacting the no-contact rule, you can use the time to improve yourself and be a graceful ex.

Perfecting the “Graceful Ex” Etiquette

Nobody wants to deal with an immature ex, the kind that stresses you out by continuously begging, hounding, and threatening their way to reverse your split. If you are this ex-type, then know that you effectively ended your chances. Your actions will only console them that the breakup was the right way. “Thank God, I dodged a bullet;” you’re that bullet, in case it wasn’t obvious.

It doesn’t take much to be a graceful ex. Stay dignified and be the person they’re most likely to label their biggest what if. How? You can be one in three steps:

Couple Arguing
Don’t lie

Following your split, it’s only natural for people who knew about your relationship to ask why. A graceful ex won’t lie about what happened, what your ex did, and pretty much every reason that led to the breakup.

Whatever the reason, to gain sympathy or to paint your ex in a bad light, your lie will come to bite you in the ass.

Even if saying the truth is no guarantee you won’t get back together, do it. Your honesty shows that you respect your ex, yourself, and what you shared as lovers. Also, the foundation of every lasting relationship is trust. How can you love back an ex who just stabbed you in the back?

Don’t harass or stalk them

Sure, there is a fine line between harassment and stalking, but that doesn’t mean you have to tread lightly. Don’t walk either way.

Calling a few times an hour, leaving messages on their voicemail, visiting them at work—just a few examples of things to avoid. If the harassment moves into stalking territory, then you may be brought up on criminal charges. That’s not a good way to patch things up

You may have a lot of unanswered questions, but sweetie, you’re going to have to wait to ask them in the most appropriate time and place. Give you ex some space and yourself a chance to collect and compose your thoughts.

Don’t play the jealousy card

Ah yes, parading your new paramour in front of your ex’s face; a classic chick flick trope.

Don’t be deluded by Hollywood though; your ex may see through your scheme, call you out for it, and decide to move on because playing games with you is tiring.

Also, be fair. Don’t toy with another person’s emotions for your gain. As with lying, you’ll only reap what you sow; sometimes it comes tenfold.

Jealousy Woman

To cap it off

To say that going through a breakup is painful will be an understatement. Even the mind cannot process the tangle of emotions that comes with your broken heart; the least the brain can do is to register the ache as a physical wound.

Couple at the Beach

And like a physical wound, the pain may dull, but the repercussions of a broken heart last longer. Thus, you clamor to get your ex back.

But before you do so, it’s helpful if you make sure your heart and mind are in the right places.

Assess the what, why, and how’s of your relationship with level-headedness. Treat the time you spend apart as a chance to heal on your terms.

Improve; be the best version of yourself first, before presenting your heart to your ex-lover again.

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