The feeling of being heartbroken and missing an ex is a lot like the feeling that drug addicts have when they are going through withdrawals. Heartbreak hurts and going through a breakup sucks.
I know the feeling more than you possibly know.
I know how it feels to wake up in the morning and have that moment before you even open your eyes where the reality of a world without your ex comes crashing down, and it feels hard to breathe. Or the feeling that you won’t be able to make it through the day, let alone the next hour. I know that feeling all too well, and it took months for it to go away. In fact, thinking and writing about it now is making me sad, and it’s been months since my breakup.
It’s natural to think that if the reason you’re in pain is because you are not with your exgirlfriend, than getting back together with her will fix it. The good news is, there are steps to make this happen, and that’s what we are going to explore in this article.
Step One: No Contact and Evaluating the Relationship
It may seem counterintuitive that the first step to getting your exgirlfriend back is to ignore her, but that is precisely what you should do.
No Contact helps for a couple of reasons.
It gives you time to reflect on the relationship, which is asctually really helpful.
As I mentioned above, I know all too well the feelings of missing your ex like they are a phantom pain from a limb removed. No Contact is a great period of time first and foremost because it gives you time away from your emotional trigger, your exgirlfriend,. You get time to cool off and come back to a more rational and less emotional place.During this time, it is important to honestly evaluate the relationship and the breakup. Look at how you both behaved throughout the relationship and ask yourself some questions: Was I happy? Was she happy? What could I have done differently? Can I see a long lasting future with her?
During this time, it is important to honestly evaluate the relationship and the breakup. Look at how you both behaved throughout the relationship and ask yourself some questions:
Was she happy?
What could I have done differently?
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Can I see a long lasting future with her?
Can I see a long lasting future with her?
The Ex Recovery process is extremely tumultuous, and it is important to know that getting your ex back is worth it. If you were not happy in the relationship, why would you want to go back to it? If you do not see your exgirlfriend as a viable life partner, why would you try to get her back?
For me, I kept going back in forth. I asked myself these questions:
Is it because I love him?
Is it because I am afraid I’ll never find someone as good as him?
Is it because I’m comfortable?
Is it because he is everything I’ve ever wanted?
Is it because I’m afraid to be single?
Is it because I like our established routines?
Is it because I am afraid to be alone?
You know what I’ve found months later? All of it is true, at least to some degree. I think that the last question was a big part of why I was unwilling to let my exboyfriend go, even though I wasn’t as happy as I could have been in our relationship.
I know that the fear of being alone can be overwhelming at times, and I think that is why so many people fear losing their ex’s forever. That is why it is so important during No Contact to assess the relationship and consider if it is really worth going back to. You may be surprised what you discover if you are honest with yourself and do some soul-searching.
It gives you time to recover and work on yourself: This is the most important step of No Contact. The best thing you can do in the No Contact period is to take care of yourself.
It’s likely that your ego took a hit because of this breakup. You probably wonder if you’ll ever find someone as amazing as your ex, or if you are even loveable. No Contact gives you a chance the get back to you. And by getting back to you, you’ll once again become the person your ex fell for in the first place.
Think about when Spike comes back to Sunnydale in season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He and his vampire girlfriend Drusilla had broken up:
“She wouldn’t even kill me. She just left. She didn’t even care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire. I mean, is that too much to ask? You know, some little sign that she cared? It was that truce with Buffy that did it. Dru said I’d gone soft. Wasn’t demon enough for the likes of her. And I told her it didn’t mean anything I was thinking of her the whole time, but she didn’t care. So, we got to Brazil and she was… she was just different. I gave her everything. Beautiful jewels, beautiful dresses with beautiful girls in them, but nothing made her happy. And she would flirt. I caught her on a park bench making out with a Chaos Demon. Have you ever seen a Chaos Demon? They’re all slime and antlers; they’re disgusting. She only did it to hurt me. So I said, “I’m not putting up with this anymore.” And she said, “Fine.” And I said, “Yeah, I’ve got an unlife, you know.” And then she said… she said we could still be friends. God, I’m so unhappy.”
– Spike, “Lover’s Walk”
It’s likely you changed over the course the relationship with your ex. You may have settled into old patterns and let some things slide that you didn’t before the two of you met. It’s understandable – you became comfortable in your relationship.
But after the two of you break up is the perfect time to really throw yourself into doing things that matter to you. Do the things you didn’t have time for when you were in a relationship. Visit with friends, take up a new hobby, work to get a promotion at work, hit the gym more frequently. Do things that make you feel good about you.
It may re-attract your ex back to you. Once Spike got back into his groove, Drusilla came back. Of course, he had already moved on to Buffy by then, of course, but she did come back.
It gives your ex a chance to miss you: After a breakup, emotions are running high for both parties, and it is not unlikely that both you and your ex said some things that you regret. You want your ex to totally forget about all the negative parts of the relationship and only be left with the positives.
I know it may be tempting to reach out to your ex (especially if she reaches out to you first), but please resist that urge. She needs to be scared that she’ll lose you. If you respond right away, she knows that she can get you back at any time.
Complete No Contact, whether it be the 21 day plan, the 30 day plan, or the 45 day plan. Try not to focus on your ex. Instead, put your energy towards doing things that make you feel good about yourself and your life. That is the most effective method to getting your ex back, and all the success stories listed on the site embraced No Contact Fully.
Step Two: Building Rapport Via Phone and Online
So after you’ve completed No Contact is where the real fun begins. Once you begin the anxiety producing texting phase, you’ll begin to miss No Contact, trust me.
Check out the various articles that Chris has written on initial texts, because they are extremely informative, and there is no point in me re-hashing them here.
The key to building good rapport (whether it be thorugh texting, calls, emails, or social media), it to make it attention getting. Don’t tell her about a happy hour you went to, she doesn’t care about that. If she really likes Disney Princesses, for example, find an article about the latest Disney movie and send it to her.
What I recommend doing is making a list of all the things you know your ex girlfriend likes. Then build up off of that. Send links and pictures of things that you know she will find interesting.
On social media, you can take that to another level, as well. You can do things that you know she would find interesting (like skydiving or a cooking class), and post about that to pique her interest.
It is also not a bad idea to utilize some jealousy techniques on social media to make your ex girlfriend aware that if she doesn’t act quick, she could lose you forever.
While building rapport with your ex girlfriend, you may have interactions that are tough, and she may say things you don’t want to hear. It is absolutely imperative that you keep a cool head and don’t get angry or emotional. Concentrate on keeping all of your interactions as positive as possible.
What I see starts to happen to a lot of people when they begin the texting phase is that all the work they did during No Contact goes flying out the window. You have to keep up the self improvement work that you began during No Contact, or it will all be for nothing.
My ex boyfriend noticed the changes I had made immediately. As we were going through the process of building rapport, I made sure to keep highlighting those changes I had made. Telling your ex that things will be different will not be enough. Actions speak louder than words, and you have to show her how things are already different. Seeing that will make a bigger impact than telling her.
The two main pieces of advice I would give for someone who is about to enter the texting phase would be to tell them to A) Keep your emotional cool; and B) Keep the topics to things your ex is interested in, and therefore, more likely to respond to.
Step Three: Physical Meetups and Dates
If you’ve made it this far, you’re in great shape! Meetups and the dating phase are some of the more intense and scary parts of the Ex Girlfriend Recovery process.
This section is going to be a bit shorter, because it simply builds upon the building rapport stage, but simply adding the physical component.
So you are going to continue doing the same things I mentioned in the above section – keep cool, talk to her about things she’s interested in, and try to rebuild attraction.
A lot of people aren’t sure when to throw flirting into the mix. I would usually say to take her lead here. You don’t want to start flirting too soon and end up in a friends with benefits situation, but you don’t want to be in the friendzone, either. Emotions are important to women, so I would recommend trying to be emotionally available to her as a friend, but also flirt with her like you’re interested. I would say kick that into gear when it feels right, but I would say you should not do that for at least the first two meetups. You need to develop a base relationship of rapport building before you can get into the nitty gritty of complicating it with emotions or flirtation.
For the first meetup or two, think of it as hanging out with a friend. That should also help to keep the pressure lessened a bit as well.
The other thing I’d recommend for this stage is to write down the details as soon as you get home! When you go back and read, you may pick up an important detail that you had originally missed.
The Bottom Line
We know that there are these three main stages to getting an ex back – that has been explicitly spelled out multiple times on this site.
But I cannot stress the bottom line enough: The No Contact period is the most important stage of this process. If you don’t do the serious work there, you won’t see a lot of progress with your ex. And even if for some reason you do nothing in No Contact and you DO get your ex back, I’m 95% sure it won’t last. Sorry.
I know you miss your ex. And because of that, you need to lay the important groundwork to better yourself so that you can look at your new relationship with fresh eyes and a new perspective. Hopefully your ex girlfriend is doing similar work after your breakup.
So do the important groundwork. You, your (hopefully) girlfriend, and your (again, hopeful) new relationship will all be better for it.