- Gender and Relationships
How to Get My Ex-Boyfriend Back: Tips and Considerations
Although you may be mourning the loss of your ex, before you make the decision to get your ex-boyfriend back, take time to assess why the relationship ended. Reflect back on both the good aspects of your relationship and what went wrong. Often, our feelings can deceive us. Happy memories can often cloud the reality of situations, so make sure that getting back with your ex-boyfriend is the best choice for both of you. Moreover, think about what steps you plan to take to make sure that you don't fall back into the same unhealthy patterns that led to your initial break-up. If nothing has changed with your relationship patterns, chances are good that you might end up in further heartbreak.
Regardless of who initiated the breakup, talking with your ex-boyfriend about the difficulties from your previous relationship can show that you're committed to the relationship, and are willing to do what it takes to get back together. Getting back together cannot be a decision that just one person makes. It will take both of you to make things work.
Process the Breakup
Evaluate your response to the breakup, and give yourself time to process the situation. After a relationship ends, it's natural to miss your ex-boyfriend, but that doesn't always mean that the relationship was right for you or will be right again in the future. Taking time to reflect on your relationship patterns and what your boyfriend meant to you will help you make an informed decision whether you should pursue your ex-boyfriend. This requires honest assessment, however. Just because you felt intense love does not mean that your relationship has healthy or was a good fit for you for the long-term.
Time away from your ex-boyfriend also will give both of you a chance to work through some of the anger, resentment and sadness that came with the breakup. When you come to a conversation or even thoughtful reflection clouded with strong feelings of sadness or loss, it is difficult to be objective.
Talking with others about the situation can help, too. Turning to a trusted friend can sometimes help you develop insights on your relationship that you did not see when you were with your ex-boyfriend. For example, close friends sometimes notice changes in your behaviors that you did not see. They can also look at your former relationship dynamics from an outside perspective and give you ideas on whether your relationship was truly a healthy one that is worth reviving.
To get your ex-boyfriend back, formulate a plan on how to avoid the issues that led to the breakup. Even though you may love your ex-boyfriend, the old adage is true: Love is never enough to save a relationship. Even if you and your ex-boyfriend still feel strongly about one another, it is unlikely that your relationship will work the second time around if you have not resolved the issues that led to the breakup. To ensure you avoid these pitfalls the second time around, look at your behaviors and relationship patterns, and decide what you should do differently. Consider the following issues that commonly lead to break-ups and decide if any apply to you:
- Not talking about what you need from the relationship
- Lack of commitment from one or both partners
- Arguing about problems instead of discussing them calmly
- Unwillingness to compromise on minor issues
- Not listening to the other person's point of view
- Giving your partner the "cold shoulder" or avoiding difficult conversations
These factors can all be fixed--if you both have the right mindset and are willing to work hard. On the other hand, there are some factors that are much more difficult to address. If any of these apply to your relationship, it may be best to leave your ex-boyfriend in the past:
- Abuse of any sort. Although there are treatments programs for abusers, you may be putting yourself in a dangerous, if not life-threatening situation, if you go back to your ex-boyfriend.
- Differences in fundamental values. While opposites can attract, if you have vastly different lifestyles and worldviews, it may be difficult to have a harmonious relationship.
- Substance abuse problems. If your boyfriend had a problem with drugs or alcohol, consider maintaining your distance unless he has made serious strides to address his problems--such as professional therapy and a rehabilitation program.
- Disrespect for your partner's goals and dreams.
Once you've decided to get back together and figured out what you need to do differently, talk about getting back together in person. Set up a time to meet with him to discuss your feelings and make sure you are both of the same page about what went wrong and what you can do to fix your past problems. Accept your role in what went wrong and admit to any mistakes you made. You may also want to share with him the insights you have gained after talking to friends and reflecting on your past relationship by yourself.
If your ex-boyfriend is open to the idea of rekindling the relationship, talk about what you learned from the breakup together and share your ideas for fixing problems and expectations for future behavior. For example, you may want to discuss what you will do if you are feeling neglected in the relationship or are angry because of a bad habit.
Also consider taking things slowly at first, if you and your ex-boyfriend decide to get back together. For example, if you were formerly living together, consider dating casually until you feel confident that you have resolved the major problems that led to the break-up. Jumping back into things quickly may just lead to more conflicts, especially if you both still have strong feelings stemming from the break-up.
Maintain Your Composure
Remain calm, rational and understanding as you work to get back together with your ex-boyfriend. Fixing your relationship may not be a quick process, but if your love and commitment is strong, time should be no issue. While pleading, making empty promises, or trying to manipulate him into taking you back may work for the short-term, these tactics will not establish the foundation for a strong and healthy relationship and will likely lead to more hurt in the end.
In some situations, you ex-boyfriend may be open to getting back together, but might need time to process feelings on his own. Once again, respecting his needs is key. Calling or texting him repeatedly or otherwise pressuring him to make a decision right away might just push him away further. Instead, give him time to reflect the way you have reflected.
If your ex-boyfriend is apprehensive about getting back into a relationship, respect his feelings, and show him that you still care by being compassionate, patient and respectful of his needs and emotional responses. If he is open to still being friends and you feel comfortable with that, accept this invitation and use is as an opportunity to enjoy time with him. If the connection is there, you may eventually get back together. Although it may take time, it is better to wait than to revive an unhealthy relationship.