A few weeks ago I got asked a really interesting question,
How am I supposed to show my ex that I have changed?
Immediately my first thought was,
“Hey, just go read the article I wrote on it”
It was only then that I realized that I hadn’t written anything on it. Well, I’m about to correct that.
Change never comes easy. It’s one of those things we try to convince ourselves can happen overnight, but know in the back of our heads will take work.
Yeah, yeah we know what you’re thinking – work…
Nobody likes to hear it, but sometimes relationships can be work. Sometimes they can be a lot of work.
Shortcuts can be fun, but more often the things we want the most can take the most amount of work and effort.
Somewhere along the lines things got to the point where people just assumed everything they’re supposed to have in life is just going to naturally come to them. I’m sure for some people that might be the case, but for most of us it’s going to take work to have any of the things in life that are worth having. And yes, that includes relationships.
You could be in the position where your ex actually told you that there’s no chance of you two being together unless you change, or you might just know for yourself why things weren’t working out and that you need to make some changes to get things back on track.
Heck, maybe things just fizzled out and you have a feeling in your gut that you need to make some changes to get her attention back.
In any of those cases, you’re likely going to need to make those changes if you have any hope of that happening.
How do you show your ex that you’ve changed?
Again, it’s going to take some effort, but don’t let that get you down. There are definitely ways you can get there, but in addition to effort it’s going to take time and the willingness to change.
You can’t half a** this, so just get that out of your head right now.
If she’s worth it and you know that she needs you to change for things to work, then at the end of the day you might just have to change.
Now before you go and reinvent yourself or make drastic changes to your lifestyle, you have to ask the question – are the types of changes she’s asking for, the types of changes that will make me a better person/partner?
If the answer is yes then you know what you have to do. If the answer isn’t a clear yes, then that’s where it’s up to you to determine if it’s something you’re willing to sacrifice for the relationship.
we’re really not making this easy for you here are we?
Things like effort and sacrifice really don’t sound as exciting as some magic bullet that’s going to solve your relationship woes and get your girl back right away. That’s the whole point – they’re not the easy route, but they’re the route that will get you results.
Change is hard, but it is always worth it, if it gets you to a place where your leading a happier, more fulfilled life. If you are able to change and make your actions showcase the changes you’ve made, you may be able to get to a place where the pain of the past can be forgotten between you and your ex.
Now, if you know anything about me you’d know that I am a total geek for Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
And I think this quote from my beloved perfectly sums up the spirit of this article,
Dawn: I’m not a child. I’m not even human. Not originally.
Spike: Yeah, well, originally I was. I got over it. Doesn’t seem to me it matters very much how you start out.
So now that we’ve touched on some of the things you’ll need to keep in mind, let’s get into how this article is going to be structured. I decided that the best way to structure this article is to hit on three key thought processes.
- Your ex girlfriend actually telling you that you need to change
- Your ex girlfriend not telling you what needs to be changed but you instinctively understanding that change needs to occur
- What to do if your ex girlfriend doesn’t believe that you’ve changed
1. She Tells You That You Need To Change
First, let’s breathe a collective sigh of relief, because this is probably the most straightforward scenario you could be dealing with. Things aren’t usually this clear cut so consider yourself lucky!
She’s outlined for you the things that have made the relationship unworkable for her, and has showed that she’s still interested enough to give you the chance to fix it. So what do you do next?
Well like we pointed out earlier, it’s going to first take a decision on your part whether these changes are ones that you’re willing to make, and if you think that making those changes will actually make the relationship better.
No one needs to be held hostage by a partner who’s asking for unrealistic things just to have their way, so if that’s the case then you should probably reconsider even giving things another go. But if she’s actually asking for reasonable changes that you know can make a difference in yourself as a person and the relationship between the two of you, then by all means go for it!
Making the decision to change is the first part, and then you need to stick with it. If she says she needs you to make more of an effort to get along with her family or friends, then take steps to show her you’re working on it.
These things likely won’t happen overnight, but as you work on it just remember that if you’re becoming the person she needs you to be, then she’s going to notice and it’ll all be worth it.
So we covered the more straightforward scenario, and now we’re on to the next challenge…
2. You Not Being Told But Understanding That Change Needs To Occur
In this case, your gut is your best ally.
It might not be the most obvious thing, and that’s where some introspection can really help shed some light on the situation.
You might be able to get the help of friends who were around the situation to get their perspectives into what went wrong, and that can be a huge help. Or you might need to just do a little soul searching and dig through the memory banks to see if there were any hints that you might have missed the first time around.
If you remember certain things in the relationship that tended to be pain points and create friction on a regular basis, then you can bet those are the things you need to work on.
Some of those things won’t be super obvious, and that can make your job a little more difficult.
Sometimes examples can be the best way to really get a grasp of something, so let’s use a quick one to help break this down:
Let’s say that Bob and his ex Julie always seemed to butt heads whenever it came time to decide what you were going to do. It’d be a Friday afternoon and she’d be texting ideas about what to do that night, but whatever Bob suggested usually ended up being what the plans were.
Eventually, Bob noticed a change in Julie, and she started to text less often and fade out of the picture before things eventually dropped off. What went wrong?
So this is just an example, but in these cases you need to try to understand what might have been an issue even if it was never explicitly stated by her. Some people react to things differently, and if the dynamic wasn’t what she hoped for or wanted she might just casually check out instead of confronting you about it.
So in the case of our friend Bob in this example, he probably came across to Julie like the type of guy who wasn’t really concerned with her opinions or what she wanted to do. Maybe she wanted to be in a situation where the guy she’s dating could compromise and take turns between plans they each wanted to do.
It’ll be tough for him to show his ex that he’s changed and can be different in the future, but the first step here is to realize what you might have done wrong in the first place. If you can do that, with some time and patience you might be able to demonstrate to your ex that you’ve learned from your mistakes and have changed for the best.
It might not be something that she’d see all the time, and in this case you might have to explicitly tell her that you’re changed instead of waiting for her to notice since she might not have the opportunities to do that.
Which then leads us to the next question…
3. What If She Doesn’t Believe You Changed?
This can definitely happen sometimes.
In fact, it probably happens in most cases which is why I put this handy little video together to teach you how to show your ex that you’ve changed,
She might have a hard time believing that you’ve changed because she probably knows what we’ve already mentioned – change doesn’t come easy.
A lot of guys think that they can just phone it in, and try to pull the wool over their partner’s eyes to convince them they’ve changed when they really were just acting the part.
I get it, I get it… It can be frustrating!
It can be even more frustrating if you’ve actually taken the time to work on yourself and make those changes that you think or know will make her come around again. If you’ve made it this far though and have actually done the work, then convincing her should be the easy part.
Building trust is one of those things that takes time, and if you’ve really made an effort and have had the patience to get to this point then you can probably be patient a little longer.
If you try to force things, nine times out of ten you’ll just trip at the finish line. Nobody likes to feel like they’re being sold anything, but if you actually take the time to show her that you’re the person she needs you to be, then you can consider things going in the right direction.
Every situation is different, and like we touched on earlier – there’s no silver bullet to this.
But still, it’s important to remember that the most important part of showing her that you’ve changed is to understand what got things off track to begin with, and to keep reminding her that you’ve learned from it.
Even if she doesn’t believe you at first, it’s up to you not to get frustrated or quit on the whole process because that will prove her intuitions right and your chances of ever getting her back will probably be gone.
Just remember that patience and effort are the keys to this, and if you can regularly show her that you’re willing to put in the time and energy then she’ll be willing to do the same.
The wrap up
Like I said earlier, change never comes easy. You’ll never be able to make it happen overnight, so the sooner you prepare to buckle in and patiently work on it the better off you’ll be in the end.
Remind yourself that the way you show her you’ve changed is to actually be the change that she wanted from you in the first place.
If she wanted you to be a more caring person, don’t go around scheming of specific scenarios that will artificially try to prove to her that you care. Nobody likes a disingenuous person, so that might be the kiss of death if she catches on to you – which she’s bound to if you’re faking it.
Being that caring person that you know she wanted you to be will go miles for you in the long run, so just try to put that into practice in small ways every day and it will eventually become part of who you are.
The fact that you’re willing to put in effort when there are so many people out there who expect things to fall on their laps is an automatic differentiator for you, so just make sure that you stick with it and remind her of what she liked about you in the first place.
Whether she explicitly told you that there’s no chance of you two being together unless you change, or you just know deep down that you need to change to have any chance with her, it’s going to be a process that makes you a better person and will make you a better partner for whoever you end up with – whether it’s her or some other lucky girl in the future.
You might need to tell her you’ve changed, or you might be fortunate enough to be in the position where she can see it firsthand for herself day to day, but in either case the most important way to show her you’ve changed is to genuinely make it happen. You might be able to fool her for a while if you didn’t make the effort, but if you really made a genuine change then your chances of things working out are way better than if you’re just pretending.