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The Ultimate Rulebook On Getting Back With An Ex: 12-Step Plan

The Ultimate Rulebook On Getting Back With An Ex: 12-Step Plan

Rekindling an old flame can be very exciting. You love someone, everything’s going perfectly, yet somehow you still end up breaking up.

You know you love them. You know they love you. The only question is: Can you get past whatever caused your breakup in the first place?

Getting back with an ex can be very enticing, but it’s also a process that needs to be taken seriously. So, your ex wants you back or… you want them back?

Read our incredible rulebook on what steps to take and how to make sure the whole process runs smoothly.

Before you get back together

Why did you break up? Think about this, hard.

bothered woman in white top with both hands on her head while closing her eyes

It’s time for some analysis. If you’re the type of person who loves to get into every little detail of who did what and why, this will be your favorite part.

Questions to ask yourself:

– What was the reason for things between you not working out the first time around?

– Was there a fight? What was the fight about?

– How does the break connect to everything that was wrong in your relationship in the first place?

– Are the reasons for your breakup something you can get past?

– Did they cheat? Did you cheat? Can it be forgiven?

Think about everything your partner did that made you want to break up with them, or everything you did to make them break up with you.

This is the time to be critical towards their personality and their behavior, but also, more than ever, this is the time to explore some good old self-criticism.

Any relationship expert would tell you to stop putting all the blame on your partner, since that’s absolutely no way to actually build on your old relationship by getting back together.

Think hard about everything in your relationship that was circumstantial and could easily be changed by a little more effort on both sides, but also concentrate on mistakes you’ve both made that brought you to where you are right now.

Can they make you happy? Can you make them happy?

thinking woman in denim jacket with hand supporting her head while sitting near windows

If you’re debating whether getting back with an ex is the right decision for you, there’s one question you’ll absolutely need to answer.

Let me just backtrack a bit. You guys broke up because one person hurt the other, or you both hurt each other.

Usually, when people decide to break up, it can be a super rash decision made due to all the pain you feel in the moment, or it can be something well thought out.

If you were contemplating breaking up for a long time before you actually did it, there’s much less chance your relationship can be recovered.

Why is this? This probably means there’s no way your partner can make you happy enough to continue your relationship (or, you can’t make them happy enough).

If something happened and you made a rash decision to end your relationship, there’s a good chance you are right to want to get your ex back.

Once the storm has passed, you are thinking more clearly about everything that was going on between you and your former partner.

Questions to ask yourself:

– Do you have anything more to give to them?

– Can they offer anything that makes you happy?

– Are they the one person you want?

– What is it that you want in a partner and in life?

– Can they be a part of that, the way they are?

– Are there things they need to fix before trying things for the second time?

Regain your confidence

woman putting on lipstick wearing an eyeglass and striped top

Chances are that the period from your breakup till now was filled with pain, mourning, questioning everything, listening to everyone’s relationship advice, and trying to move on – at least enough to make it look like you’re moving on.

If you want to actually get back with your ex in a healthy, mature way, you have to think of your own well-being. Put yourself first for a while; see what happens.

Work on yourself. Gain back the confidence you’ve lost by having a failed relationship, being cheated on, or whatever it is that went down between you and your ex.

Accepting everything that happened to be a part of life, and possibly just a small part of your otherwise amazing relationship (I’m guessing it was, otherwise why would you be thinking of going back) is a very good start.

Give your soul some pampering – it needs it to go on. Give your body some as well – it will surely help you feel confident.

Think of who you are, without anyone else in the picture. Give yourself some time.

This is not a new relationship, it’s a chapter of the old one, so…

Discuss your old issues

man and woman dating on a cafe on a low angle view

Yup. It’s time to open some old wounds. Yes, you have to. Absolutely. Leaving your problems in the past, just hoping they won’t happen again, is hardly even a good choice.

If your problems were big enough to cause a breakup, it means they absolutely need to be talked about. Try giving it all a new perspective, a fresh pair of eyes.

Approach your issues from a completely different point of view – your partner’s. It would be amazing if they can do the same.

Discuss things with paying as much attention as possible to how your partner must have felt during everything you both have been through.

If by the end of this process you can say you understand what went wrong and find a new way to deal with your issues, AMAZING, you’re almost ready.

If you still can’t in any way understand what the hell happened and why they acted the way they did, you might start considering not getting back with them.

If you’re trying to be a part of a healthy relationship, it’s necessary to resolve your old issues before you go on to anything new.

Listen to your gut

woman wearing jacket sitting on a rock on a mountain

Relationship advice that works for one person may not work for you. While every relationship follows some patterns, they are all unique in their own way.

You and your partner are unique human beings with your own unique personalities, wants, and needs.

Sometimes, your own gut feeling is so much more valuable than whatever anyone has to say. Listen to what it’s telling you.

Everything might seem to be going perfectly on your relationship’s path to recovery, but you might be having that little voice in your head telling you to rethink what you’re doing.

On the other hand, there might be more issues between you two than some would think to be resolvable, yet there’s still something inside of you telling you it’ll all be okay.

Make sure, though, that the little voice in your head it’s not just you missing your former partner speaking.

Be ready to forgive

woman holding man's hand on a table inside a restaurant

If you are entering a process of getting back with an ex, you have to be aware that there will be some forgiving to do.

If you know in your heart that you can’t forgive your partner for whatever it is they did to you, don’t even bother starting.

There are definitely things that went wrong the last time, so you want to start this time with a clean emotional slate. If you decide to forgive your partner, make sure you follow through.

Don’t rehash the past whenever you argue about anything, mentioning it often or blaming them for something you’ve decided to forgive.

And if you’re the one who made things fall apart, forgive yourself. It’s necessary to do this to be able to start over – or better said, continue your old relationship.

After you’ve started to resolve some old issues

Take things super slow

shallow focus photo of people riding in a convertible car in a tropical street

You might feel like simply continuing where you left off, but it’s so much wiser to take things slow.

Even though you’ve already been through many steps of the relationship, it would benefit you to go through them again, as if you were experiencing them for the first time.

Start by dating each other and talking about basic things. You may even want to hold off being intimate for a while. If you lived together before your breakup, you shouldn’t simply go back to that.

Take a few steps back and go slowly. See where your new experience takes you. Don’t rush things. You need time to accept all that’s unfolding and do it without making any more rash decisions.

Talk about things that happened when you were apart

young couple in city at night with man's arms of woman's shoulder

This step is important for two reasons. The first one is that it’s important to be honest with your partner.

Just because something happened when you weren’t together, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t know about it.

If you dated someone or had any kind of relationship, best you share this with them. You don’t want to try to rebuild your relationship based on lies or misconceptions.

If you don’t mention something like this, your partner will probably assume nothing like that happened. It’s especially kind to be honest if they ask you.

The other reason why this step is important is that you want your partner to see you for who you are without them.

Let’s be honest, taking your partner for granted is a huge part of relationships.

Giving your partner insight into what you do when you are not with them will remind them of who you were when they first met you and of everything they loved about you in the first place.

Talk about why you want to get back together

man in brown parka jacket walking beside a woman in maroon jacket during winter

Talk honestly to your partner about what it is that makes you want to get back together.

Opening up about your emotions and sharing all the things you love so much about each other that you’re willing to look past the mistakes will be a great start for you both.

If you decide to give it another shot

Get ready for some negative feedback from your loved ones

group of people in front of a table with food standing

You probably went on and on, or at least shared a bit about your breakup to your friends and family. Don’t be surprised if they don’t approve of you getting back together with your ex.

In their mind, your ex-boyfriend is probably someone who hurt you real bad and got you into a state they never want to see you again in. They’re scared for you and only want what’s best.

Don’t respond negatively to their caring thoughts and comments.

If your best friend has something to say about the whole situation, listen to her, and take whatever she says into consideration, because she is not only objective but also has your best interest at heart.

Remember, you are still with the very same person

serious couple talking woman wearing a blue top

This person you’re getting together with is still the very same person you broke up with.

Do not fantasize about them changing and don’t get to thinking they will be completely different just because they got a second chance.

Yes, you’ve discussed your old issues and you’ve forgiven them for the way they’ve hurt you, and they’ve done the same for you, but they still aren’t a whole new changed person.

If your only hope lies in your partner changing their personality or behavior, you’re on the completely wrong track here.

If you can accept – and not only accept but love that you are with the very same guy, good for you. You have a chance of making things work.

Do your best not to follow old, toxic patterns

sweet couple in the sand sitting on a mat watching the sunset/sunrise

It’s rarely one bad thing that makes for a breakup of a relationship; it’s usually many little things building up on top of each other or causing each other.

This time around, you have to make sure you don’t find yourselves in the exact same position you were right before your breakup.

Try to do things differently and also try to respond differently to the things your partner does. You can’t do things exactly the same way you did them before and expect the outcome to be different.

Set some goals for your new-old relationship and follow through this time.

5 terrible “getting back with an ex” mistakes you should avoid at all costs

Texting and calling too much

person with hat holding smartphone in a top angle

Should you call or text your ex? There’s basically nothing worse you can do than constantly call, text, or contact your ex on social media.

They need time to get away from it all, just like you do. This definitely won’t help your ”getting back with an ex” mission.

If you want to make them think about you and improve the way they treat you in order to be back together, try the ”no contact” rule.

Don’t contact them for at least a month after the breakup, unless there’s something really important to discuss (for instance, if you have kids together.)

Begging them for a second chance

woman eye to eye with a man inf focus photography outdoors

No matter how much you love or miss your ex, do not get yourself into a situation that you’re begging for a second chance. Their pity is not your friend.

You want your partner to see you as this amazing woman who’s worth a second chance, not a pathetic, needy girl begging for their love.

Raise your head high. The person who you’d need to beg to love you is not the one you should be with. Give them time and show them you can most definitely live your life without them.

Letting them walk all over you

couple arguing outdoors showing back of a man and woman explaining with hands open

You have to let your ex-boyfriend see you as a fierce, strong woman who can do whatever she wants on her own.

Do not think that letting him do whatever he wants – humiliating you or using you in any way – will get you where you want to be.

If you’re the one who made a mistake or cheated and that’s why he left you, let him know that you understand his pain and would be happy if he found it in himself to forgive you.

Still, don’t let him walk all over you to show him you’re sorry for what happened.

Obsessing over your ex and past relationship

pensive woman's face near glass windows with green plants

Keep it cool. Do not obsess over your whole relationship and especially don’t let him or other people think of you as a nutjob, who is not only crazy about him but probably a little crazy as it is.

Have some respect for yourself. Show yourself, him, and everyone else that you have a life aside from your (past) relationship.

The most important part of this process is not to post any pathetic posts on social media about your ex or the way you miss him.

Name-calling or intentionally trying to hurt your ex

sad woman with hand on head near the windows with ray of sun getting inside the room

You might get really angry or simply want to hurt your ex to make him feel bad or yourself like you have power.

Name-calling and offending him won’t help you. Try to always keep your calm and openly share your opinions and emotions.

Also, if you thought of talking about all the boys you’ve been with since you two have broken up ( be this true or not) to make him jealous, think again.

It will only make you seem desperate. And no one likes desperate.

There are some deal-breakers though: Our heartfelt advice

woman in red trench coat standing near the railings of the bridge

There are some situations in which you should never consider getting back with an ex.

For example, if you two were in a long-distance relationship where no person was able to move in order to be together and being far away was obviously an issue, why go back to this?

Your one problem is there to stay, so there’s no point in trying to make the relationship work.

Also, if your partner had some kind of mental health issue, mental illness, or an addiction he didn’t want to deal with by going to therapy or taking his meds, don’t go back.

There’s nothing good waiting for you there, no matter how much you may love him.

Also, if you had just an awful toxic relationship with your ex – one with emotional, verbal, or even physical abuse – don’t think anything will change.

Someone who was never good to you never will be. Bullies don’t change, ever. Run away from this as far as possible and never ever think of going back.

The Ultimate Rulebook On Getting Back With An Ex: 12-Step Plan

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