When you still want your ex back after a relationship ends, there is a certain element of fear in nearly every decision you make.
Be honest, the second you heard your ex was moving away your brain kicked into overdrive trying to figure out ways to make her stay or get her back despite her moving. You probably consider calling her or driving to where she was right then to declare your love and beg her to stay.
Hopefully, you talked yourself out of it.
Taking bold, irrational actions that aren’t though through only result in making you look unprepared and out of control.
Fear and panic lead you to make mistakes that simply give her more reasons to get as far away as possible.
So, what do you do?
Learn to Recognize Panic
Heartbreak makes the mind hold onto some illogical thoughts. One of them is that your ex BELONGS to you, that you have some kind of claim to her, even though you are no longer together.
It will make you fear losing something that you don’t even have.
It will tell you that this is the end of the world, that you can’t live without them, and that you are dying.
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When I was younger, I was prone to having panic attacks. Seeing as even thinking about going to a doctor to address the problem was stressful enough to set off a panic, I had to learn how to address them on my own.
I think dealing with this issue on my own had a lot to do with my growing interest in psychology. I read anything I could get my hands on on the subject.
Panic attacks are a sudden rush of intense dread or distress accompanied with physical symptoms such as dizziness, elevated heart-rate, chest pains, sweating,and disorientation.
Feeling panic in response to hearing your ex is moving away can elicit the same reaction.
You may find yourself unable to focus on one thought at a time. Your chest may feel tight for a few days.
I know that when my college boyfriend showed up at my apartment to tell me he was moving five states away, I was pretty much useless for a few days. I was a waitress at the time and if you were to ask anyone I worked with at the time, I was pretty much on autopilot for three days. I wasn’t anywhere near being my usual positive ball of energy.
During that time I imagined flying to North Carolina and trying to change his mind. I even considered just picking up and moving my entire life there.
Panicking can manifest in many different ways.
Have you been considering acting out of character or doing something drastic?
There is a feeling that precedes these kinds of thoughts, like your entire body is out of control.
I learned something early on, if your thoughts are on all over the place, your body goes into a fight or flight mode. Your brain is searching for a fix-it and your body is ready for a battle.
“The body is responding as though a threat is immediately present. So all the symptoms people experience – increased heart rate, increased breathing – are tied to an evolutionary response to protect the individual. It’s really designed to get that person to either fight or flight; it’s primarily to escape.” -Todd Farchione, research assistant professor at the Boston University Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders.
You may not realize it but those fight or flight instincts are prevalent even when it comes down to relationships.
So, when you start to recognize that feeling of panic go ahead and assume that any ideas you have after that are subject to scrutiny and probably not good ones.
Let’s go over it again just to be clear about what you are keeping an eye out for.
- Elevated blood pressure (you know, when you feel like you can hear your blood pulsing in your ears.)
- Sudden feelings of dread or distress
- Chest Pains (I find that in breakups this can be as a physical manifestation of heartache)
- Fight or Flight thought process
Even on a small scale, panic can devastate your efforts to get her back.
Learn How to Handle Your Panic
Your only hope is to learn how to handle your panic appropriately.
I’m going to lay this out in steps to make it simpler.
Step ONE: Learn to take a step back.
When you panic, your mind tells you to do anything, ANYTHING. It tells you that if you don’t your world will crumble around you and that you will lose her forever.
You cannot control your reactions unless you step back and take a full inventory of the situation at hand. That means not putting yourself at the center of what is happening.
You aren’t the center of everything?
Yeah, I said it.
Consider the fact that your breakup might not be the reason for your exes decision to move… at least, it’s not the ONLY reason.
Step TWO: Get your thoughts in order.
You have to ask yourself the hard questions.
- What is it I really want?
- Do you actually want to get back together or do you just not want to see her with someone else?
- What are the odds that you get her back while she’s still in town?
- What are the odds that you get her back after she moves?
- Does her moving make THAT much of a difference in the odds?
- How far are you willing to go in order to get her back? Would you drive back and forth to reconnect? Would you consider moving or transferring jobs if it works out?
Be honest with yourself.
Most of the people I talk to tell me, “She said she was moving for a new job/family/kids, but I KNOW it’s because of our breakup.”
Yes, people make brash and big decisions to get away from their past, but generally they have to have other benefits; financial stability, fresh start, familial ties, etc.
You have to take into consideration that there may be other reasons behind her decision. Asking her not to or trying to dissuade her is selfish when you haven’t taken the time to get your life together.
Yes, it really is THAT important that you get your life in order during No Contact… SEPARATELY for your ex.
You have to least to be present in what is happening in your life rather than tied up in what is happening with your ex.
Most people let themselves become so engulfed in the quest to get their ex back that they let their responsibilities fall to the side… bills, school, family, friendships, self-care, and business endeavors.
Being aware of your regular day-to-day life allows you to control your anxiety and how it affects you.
More than once, when I was serving tables I found myself catching things that fell before they hit the ground or reaching out to catch something that hadn’t even been knocked over yet.
I won’t lie, it made me feel a bit like a super hero.
But, because I had waited tables for so long, I could tune the hustle and bustle of it all out. It allowed me to notice when things were out of place or noises that proceeded problems.
I wasn’t a superhero. (although that would be pretty cool.) I was just more aware of my surroundings.
When you can control your anxiety, you become more aware of what is happening and how to react appropriately rather than overreacting.
Step THREE: Establish coping mechanisms.
In order to deal with stress and anxiety, you have to establish HEALTHY coping mechanisms.
I stress HEALTHY because these days most people prefer to bury themselves in unhealthy ones.
- Stress eating
- Binge watching Netfix
All of these things inhibit your common sense. They lead you to react MORE drastically and without thought.
And you guessed it… acting drastically is going to undermine what you really want here.
So, lets talk about these healthy ways to cope.
First of all, you need to learn how to Control Your Breathing.
This is the first thing I had to teach myself. Luckily, I had a friend who suffered from extreme anxiety attacks and he taught me to focus on my breathing and to Distract Myself with what I called “Mental Olympics.” I would count things or see how high I could get with the prime numbers. If I got lost, I’d start again, until my breathing got down to a normal rate.
If you know me in real life, then you know that I go through moments where social interaction brings on extreme anxiety at times. Learning to settle your mind and your breathing has become somewhat of an anchor for me when I get put in stressful situations.
Come to a Full Stop when your thoughts start to go every which direction. Remember that you control them. They don’t control you.
Make it a habit to interrupt destructive patterns.
Destructive patterns look a lot like the following:
- Black and white thinking – This is an all or nothing way of looking at things. If I do less than perfect, then I consider it a fail.
- Amping things up – Blowing things out of proportion.
- Taking things personally – Taking the blame for every little thing that happens, like your ex choosing to move away or the whole breakup.
- Predicting disaster – Automatically assuming that the worst outcome is the only outcome possible.
These are called cognitive distortions. They are tricks your mind plays on you.
… and guess what…
they’re usually WRONG.
I have been known to affectionately call this the stop, drop, and DON’T roll over tactic.
Okay… so, yeah, reading it now I realize that I will never call it that again… too cheesy.
The point is, don’t steamroll yourself.
When you see the first sign of these types of thoughts entering your thought process, you need to SHUT. THEM. DOWN.
Heartache has a special way of poisoning your mind to work against you. Learning to recognize these thought processes early and put a stop to it will save you a ton of grief and anxiety.
Learn to pause before you respond.
You just found out she’s moving, or at least heard recently. My guess is that it has been on your mind bugging you ever since you heard. And if you haven’t already, you are seriously considering doing something drastic, like breaking No Contact or begging for her back.
I get it.
I really do.
Doing something drastic, as you are probably already guessing, will derail your efforts to win her back.
Just like those cognitive distortions that you are looking out for, you have to recognize the urge to give in to these knee jerk reactions and head them off with some common sense.
You are more likely to respond effectively to a situation when you are thinking clearly and being reasonable, not doing the first thing you come up with while you are in a panic.
Do Something Relaxing.
Get a massage.
Go find a hammock in the sun and read a book.
Whatever it is that takes your mind away from the issue at hand and allows you a moment of peace, do it (as long as it doesn’t derail your progress with No Contact and ExRecovery Pro).
You see, stress doesn’t just get a hold of your thoughts, it resides in your muscles and affects your health. If we are going to move forward and be successful in getting your ex to give you another chance, then you have to be able to think clearly. You can’t do that if you are carrying stress up to your eyeballs and dealing with health issues on top of the relationship issues.
So, hit a sauna. Relax a little. This will help you get your thoughts under control. Then you can make good decisions moving forward.
Let Logic Overcome Fear
So, I know you came here looking for answers to what you need to do to get her back if she’s moving away. And my answer to you seems like exactly the opposite. But I’m not telling you not to do anything. I’m telling you not to do anything stupid.
So, if you haven’t already, take on ExGirlfriend Recovery Pro starting with No Contact. (that link there is a nice little video that helps lay out No Contact simply, because who wants to read when you can watch a video.)
Alright, well, you are set for now.
If I give you any more information it would be too much. Take this information and the information in the video and apply it to whatever you’re facing right now. If you have any questions, which I’m sure you will, reach out in the comments and we would be happy to answer them.