How to get your ex back when they don’t have feelings for you
How to Get Your Ex Back
Sometimes after a breakup, you realize you still have feelings for your ex and want to be with them again. Asking your ex to get back together can be scary, but if you take your time and learn from the past, there’s a chance they’ll say yes.
Before you try to win your ex back, work on fixing any bad habits you have or mistakes you made that caused you to break up in the first place. Then, ask your ex to hang out as friends and take the opportunity to show them how you’ve changed for the better. Laugh, smile, and be positive when you’re around them. Wait until you've developed a friendship again before having a serious conversation with your ex about getting back together.For more help getting back with your ex, like what to do if they're in a new relationship, read on!
Assessing the Break-Up
Understand the breakup.What did each of you do to contribute to the breakup? Most relationship troubles do not crop up unexpectedly, but build up over time. The odds are good that it wasn't a one-sided problem and that there were signs that it was coming. Take some time and do some soul searching before you attempt to get your ex back. You want to make sure you are not wasting your time or energy on something futile.
- According to research, the number one cause of the breakup of romantic relationships is failure to communicate. If your relationship was otherwise happy, this problem can often be fixed by setting clear expectations and openly discussing frustrations before things explode in a big fight. Other issues can be harder to overcome, like infidelity or jealousy; but with work and counseling, even these types of issues are possible to work through.
Recall who initiated the breakup.Was it you? If so, did you do it after careful thought or in a fit of anger that you now regret? Was it your ex, and did he or she have specific reasons? Was it a mutual decision?
- It is vital that you understand who controlled the breakup and why it happened in the first place. If it was you, and your ex was against breaking up, getting back together might be easier than if it was initiated by your ex in the first place.
Interpret your emotions.In the pain and confusion of a breakup, it can be easy to confuse your emotions, interpreting feelings of loneliness and hurt as evidence that you need your ex back in your life. In fact, almost everyone who experiences a breakup initially feels remorse for the lost relationship, coupled with feelings of anxiety, guilt, depression, and loneliness. Generally, the more serious the relationship was, the more severe these feelings tend to be; couples who are married or cohabiting tend to have the worst breakups, whereas those who were casually dating tend to have an easier time in the aftermath of a breakup.But the severity of your feelings does not automatically mean that you should get back together with your ex.
- Try answering these questions: Do you miss your ex, or do you miss having a boyfriend or girlfriend? Did he or she make you feel better about yourself, more secure in the world, and happier? Do you imagine yourself with this person in the long-term, even when the excitement of being in love has worn off and you are stuck in the daily routines of life? If you are only missing the security of having someone and the excitement of a dramatic relationship, you can find those things with someone else in a healthier, more stable relationship.
- It is important to take time after breaking up and before trying to get your ex back to examine your own emotions and decide if you truly should be with that person. Rekindled relationships often suffer from a lack of trust and can be more likely to cycle on-again-off-again with repeated breakups. If you're not 100% sure that you want to be with this person in the long-term, avoid further pain by doing your best to get over your ex instead of pursuing him or her again.
Taking Time Alone
Avoid contact for the first month after the break-up.They will call you if they want to talk. If they don't, nothing you say or wear will change that. Sometimes, ignoring your ex makes them feel like you are perfectly fine without them and are moving on, which is the exact opposite of what they want.
- Avoiding contact is not just a passive-aggressive way to make your ex miss you. It gives you time to do the things you need to do to prepare yourself for a new relationship (whether it's with your ex or someone new!). Take time during this month to get to know yourself as an individual and to work on areas that you may have let slip during your relationship with your ex. If you contributed to the breakup, this is the time to pinpoint your relationship weaknesses and do the hard work to improve as a human being.
- This time off will also help you to distinguish between normal grief after a breakup and a real desire to be with your ex again. Nearly everyone feels sad after a breakup, even if their ex was a jerk and they were truly incompatible. Time alone will help you sort out these feelings.
Focus on yourself.Hang out with your friends. Throw yourself into work and other extracurricular activities. You don't want to seem needy or like you are waiting for your ex to contact you again.
- Researchers have found that people who regain a healthy sense of self post-breakup recover more quickly from relationship-related grief.
Do not pursue your ex during this time.That means no calling, texting, or asking around about how he or she is doing. Most importantly, do not ask your ex questions about why the breakup happened or about whether he or she is seeing anyone. This comes across as desperate..
- While it is important to not pursue your ex for a month or so, it's okay to be responsive if he or she pursues you. In other words, if you get a call, don't hang up on your ex or refuse to talk. It is not necessary to try to play mind games or play hard to get, and doing so would have the potential to push him or her further away, which is the opposite of your goal at this point.
- If you do happen to hear through the grapevine that your ex is seeing someone new, try not to jump to conclusions or let jealousy set in. By no means should you do anything to try to thwart a new relationship. Let your ex have some time to find out if you are really the one; you don't want to force a person to be with you who really wants to be with someone else.
Find out if they are still interested.Before you start trying to win back your ex’s heart, you need to know whether he or she still cares or not. Knowing if your ex still cares about you is the first most important clue and hint that things can still be mended.
- You do not need to find out right away, and you definitely should not send friends to do your investigative work for you. Do not pursue your ex for at least a month after the breakup; instead, look for subtle hints when you run into him or her at school or work, social media posts, or comments that your mutual friends make unsolicited.
- Keep in mind that a third of currently cohabiting and a fourth of married couples experienced a breakup at one point, so if your ex is still interested there is a good chance you will be able to win him or her back.
Winning Your Ex Back
Work on your self-esteem.If you struggle with neediness, you're probably a little lacking in the self-esteem department. You might be looking for your ex to make you feel better about yourself, but the fact is that you are the only person who can really do that. You shouldn't base your happiness on someone else. It makes them feel guilty, obligated and eventually, resentful towards you.
- Self-esteem is about believing that you are a person of worth and that you are adequate the way you are. When it comes to relationships, it is important that you feel complete and whole as an individual rather than looking for someone else to complete you or make your life worthwhile.
- To improve your self-esteem, concentrate on your strengths in all areas: emotional, social, talents and skills, appearance, and any others that are important to you. For example, you might have natural empathy, the ability to make people feel understood, a talent for baking, and gorgeous hair. Focusing on the positive and ignoring the negative can help you to feel adequate and valuable as an individual, especially when you connect the best parts of yourself to helping others.If you feel useless, make yourself useful! Take your natural empathy and talent for baking and bake some fresh cookies for your elderly neighbors.
Be the person your ex fell in love with.Try to think back to when the two of you first got together. What about you did he or she love? Was it your quirky jokes, or maybe your amazing sense of style. Whatever it may be, try to rekindle the fire the same way the flame was started before.
- Your ex was attracted to you because they felt good with you and you were fulfilling their emotional needs. How have you changed (if at all)? Correct bad habits and mistakes, if any. Be positive around them. Laugh and smile. Always stay positive to feel good about yourself and make yourself attractive to others.
Improve your appearance.Get a few items of new clothing, alter your hairstyle, hit the gym, or do your nails. Make yourself stand out and seem fresh from what your ex remembers of you.
- While you do not want to change who you are in order to get your ex back (because eventually they would leave again, since the real you has to return at some point), it is always helpful to be the best you can be. Your ex was attracted to you and you can try to regain that attraction.
Spend time with other people.You don't need to sleep with them, but spending time with other men or women will let your ex know that you are on the market for a relationship again. If they are still interested, they may decide it is time to step in and stop you from looking elsewhere.
- If you are not interested in dating others or leading them on, meet up with groups for movie night or spend time with a friend of the opposite sex. Just being around others who are single might be enough to make your ex a bit jealous.
Casually hang out with your ex.Do something non-committal like have a drink with friends or play miniature golf, including him or her with others. Make it something friends and first dates alike can do. And whatever it is, keep it fun and skip out on the serious talks for now.
- Every relationship should be built on a firm foundation of friendship, so it is important to make sure that your friendship is intact before trying to move to romance territory.
- If your ex has fallen into the friend zone (for example, if he or she says "I'm no longer in love with you"), you might be able to recreate the experience of falling in love by building intimacy with your ex. In one study, a researcher had two strangers stare into each other's eyes and then answer personal questions (like "What is your biggest fear?" and "What is your best memory from childhood?"). They were able to create an intimate bond between the strangers, creating attraction and even the feelings of love. Try spending time looking into your ex's eyes and asking deep questions and see if this helps move your relationship back into intimate territory.
Inviting a Relationship Discussion
Ask your ex to talk with you.After you have taken time together as friends, it is time to have an honest talk about your history together and whether or not there might be a romantic future.
- Although texting and talking over the computer is a common way to communicate in an established relationship, intimate discussions like this should be held in person. Invite your ex over for dinner or head out to your favorite coffee shop.
Prepare your words.The first thing that you say to your ex is extremely important. If you say the wrong words, you will lose the chance to get them back. You need to understand that even though you're not together, there is a good chance they still harbor strong feelings for you.
- There are many ways you can approach this conversation, but one safe way is to say something like, "I've been wanting to talk to you about our relationship and see how you have been." Express regret things didn't work out between you and ask if you can talk about it now that you have some perspective.
- Let the conversation naturally progress. If your ex is doing great and reports that he or she is seeing other people, you might decide not to waste your time trying to convince him or her to get back together. But if your ex seems to harbor feelings for you, you can gradually bring up the possibility of giving things another try.
Apologize.Think deeply about anything you did or didn't do that somehow contributed to the downfall of the relationship, and clean the slate by giving your ex a proper apology. Take full responsibility for the offense, without blaming your ex, giving excuses, or expecting an apology (or even forgiveness) in return. It may very well be that your ex contributed to the situation, but you cannot apologize for someone else; you can only apologize for yourself. Leave him or her out of it and odds are the apology will be reciprocated.
- Avoid using the word "but." "I am sorry, but..." means "I am not sorry." Also, do not say "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "I'm sorry if you were offended." This makes it seem like you are blaming the other person, and is not a real apology.
- A true apology should be structured as follows: regret, responsibility, and remedy. The first step indicates that you are sorry for what you've done. The second step puts the responsibility on you without making excuses or blaming someone else. The final step offers to make it right or change your behavior in the future.For example: "I just wanted to apologize for when I blew you off all those times that you wanted to spend with me. You must've really felt neglected. I'm going to try really hard from now on, to make it a point to do more things with you so you won't feel like that again. I'm glad you gave me your point of view to realize that."
Building a Healthy Relationship
Talk.Since communication problems are the number one cause of breakups, you need to work extra hard as a couple to ensure that you always keep lines of communication open. When you get back together, you need to take time to establish expectations, especially in areas that were problems before.
- Make a game plan for how to deal with unmet expectations. For example, if you broke up with your ex because he or she spent too much time with friends, talk openly about how much time is reasonable and how you will negotiate with one another if you need more time with friends.
Remember what caused you to break up.Relationships that are on-again-off-again tend to be volatile and emotionally unstable. Remembering what caused your original break up and dealing with those issues can help to prevent some of the same challenges from cropping up again.
- Tread lightly in the areas that you used to disagree. Whatever issues caused your break-up are likely to still be tender areas for the both of you. If you struggle with jealousy, family issues, control issues, or other particular areas, realize that those issues are going to still be there when the newness wears off of your reinstated romance.
Treat your relationship like a new one.Remember that your first relationship together was not a successful one; it ended in heartbreak. Treat the second time like a new relationship, building new rules of engagement.
- Take it slow. Don't assume you should pick up where you left off in your previous relationship, for example, sleeping together and saying "I love you," which should not come into play until you've rebuilt your trust.
- Get to know one another. Especially if it has been a while since you were together, you and your ex have both changed as individuals in that time. Don't assume you know everything about him or her. Take time to get to know one another again.
Consider counseling.Particularly if you were married or in a very serious relationship and want to continue in a serious relationship, you are likely to need couples therapy in order to discover the root of your problems and ensure that you can overcome them.
- Remember that cycling relationships (those that experience breakups and get back together) tend to have a higher rate of dissatisfaction, lack of trust, and eventual failure, so be prepared to put extra work into your new relationship.
Deciding to Move On
Watch for signs that your relationship won't work.While you might have strong feelings for this person, sometimes two people are just not compatible. If your relationship is toxic, you need to move on rather than trying to win back your ex. Some signs that your relationship is troubled beyond repair include:
- abuse of any kind. If your ex has ever laid a hand on you to hurt you, or coerced you to have sex or do other things you did not feel comfortable doing, then he or she was abusive and you should not try to win that person back.
- a lack of respect on either side. If you or your ex call each other names, belittle each other's accomplishments, or say disparaging things about one another to your family or friends, then there is no respect in that relationship. These are all features of an emotionally abusive relationship.Find someone who shows you the respect you deserve, and commit to treating him or her with respect as well.
- a history of unfaithfulness. While some relationships can move on past infidelity, broken trust is extremely hard to repair and even if you can build it back, it is easily broken again. A relationship that has experienced infidelity is likely to need extra support in the form of ongoing counseling to repair broken trust.
Listen to your friends and family.Although you might feel defensive, those who are close to you and know you well often have good insight into your relationships. If someone you know and trust has a bad feeling about your relationship, you should take that as an indication that there could be trouble.
- If you know that a particular friend or family member dislikes your ex, ask to sit down and discuss why. Find out if it is based on how the ex treats you or others, knowledge your friend may have that you don't, or other evidence that might be meaningful.
Accept the break up and move on.If none of the steps above have worked for you, and/or if you have assessed the situation and decided it is not healthy or wise to continue trying to get your ex back, be sure that you take time for yourself emotionally to recover from your broken heart.
- According to research, it is important to focus on the best parts of the breakup and relationship, especially how they helped you grow as a person, and let yourself forget the negative experiences. One strategy to help you do this is to spend 15 to 30 minutes each day for three days in a row writing about the positive aspects of the breakup.
- After those three days, try to let the relationship go. Give yourself time to just be alone, spending time with family and friends and doing things you love. When you're in a healthy place, you can begin looking for love once more.
QuestionHow do I know if he really loved me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHe will come back to you. No matter what happened. Via messages, person. People cannot stay away from things they truly love for too long. That's when you will know he really loves you. But, not if you really hurt him; cheated on him, abused him, etc.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I get my ex back?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFollow the steps in this article and focus on you. Become the person you always wanted to be.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I avoid fighting in a relationship?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome arguing is normal in a relationship. You may go through phases of fighting due to outside factors, which is also normal. The important thing is how you argue, how you deal with arguments after, how you heal together, and the way you communicate. The best way to avoid a fight getting out of control is to walk out of the room and not escalate the situation.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my ex is too shy to talk to me?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHe may be too shy to talk to you, or he simply does not want to talk to you. It likely depends on the circumstances of your breakup. If he actually is too shy to talk to you, you will have to do the talking.Thanks!
- Avoid any behavior that can be construed as harassment, stalking, or otherwise illegal or unethical. In many places in the world, you can be put on a restraining order or even in prison if your behavior crosses the line from romantic pursuit to stalking.
- Getting back together is a risk. You may have progressed as a person and felt some independence during your time apart, but your ex may put you back at square one if you agree to go back.
Sources and Citations
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