I am a huge fan of “How I Met Your Mother.” My old roommate (also my best friend) spent the better part of two years trying to be a mixture of Barney, James Bond, and Archer. I pretty much just grabbed the popcorn and didn’t try to talk him out of it. Needless to say, we had our fair share of HIMYM references around the house.
There is this one episode, they talk about how to tell who’s “winning the breakup.” It was actually pretty funny, because Robin’s old high school flame, played by James Van Der Beek, shows up in town. He’s balding, overweight, and still playing in the same crappy band from high school.
Upon hearing that he is going to be in town, the group talks about how to figure out if she’s “winning the breakup.” Basically, it boils down to who’s life is better and how well they aged over time.
If you look at it that way, it’s all in your head. Like Robin proved by not even noticing that he had not aged well and had not really made any improvements whatsoever since he dumped her in Highschool. Each person’s experience colors their perception of where they stand if you look at it that way.No one really wins in a breakup
No one really wins in a breakup, unless someone is escaping physical or emotional abuse. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t miss their abuser. Most times, even people who sustain abuse still remember the moments where their ex wasn’t being sadistic.
A lot of people I’ve talked to as adults honestly think of a breakup as “The Battle of Who Cares Less.” So, they put all of their efforts into hiding any of the difficulties that they have in order to “win.”
Why Do You Care So Much?
Ego has a way of distorting the way we see the things that happen around us. It’s what makes you self-conscious when you walk into a room of people. And it is why you feel like your Ex’s actions, or inactions I suppose, are an attack on you.
Figuring out why it matters to you is pretty important if you want to manage the hurt that you are dealing with right now.
You have to figure out why you want her to care.
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If you are simply wanting validation or proof that your relationship wasn’t a complete waste of time and effort, then that is ego. There is no real goal other than to make you feel better. You don’t necessarily want her to come crawling back so you can rebuild the relationship. It’s more about just knowing that she wants you.
If you didn’t feel this way until she moved on to someone else, then again it’s ego. How dare she like anyone other than you!
A bruised ego is the worst.
It’s even worse when someone you cared about is the source of pain.
But looking for validation from your ex in the form of them chasing after you after a breakup just to soothe your Ego actually is a waste of time.
If you are wanting to know why they seem so heartless because you actually want to salvage the relationship, then take consolation in the fact that every hurts after a breakup, no matter how heartless, happy or carefree they seem. I find it helps to remind yourself that not everyone has the same standards for proper behavior after a breakup.
What Makes You Think She Doesn’t Care?
Our minds play tricks on us constantly. We can pretty much convince ourselves of anything. And we tend to take things that have nothing to do with us personally.
It is human nature for our perception to be selfish as if the whole world revolves around us.
I once read a study that originally posed the question, “Are humans naturally self-centered or altruistic?” They basically determined that even doing good deeds is a self-centered act. The goal being the warm fuzzy feeling we get from helping someone else comes with a hefty dose of dopamine.
So, sometimes you have to remind yourself that not everything that other people do is directed at you.
So, look at the real reasons behind why you think your ex doesn’t care.
Unless she suddenly started to look like a honey badger, I’m willing to say that her actions most likely aren’t meant to hurt you on purpose. It’s more likely that she is trying to take care of her own hurt feelings.
Perhaps she is seeing someone new.
Sorry, but this likely has nothing to do with you unless you dumped her in some sort of brutal fashion. In which case, yeah, she’s probably trying to show you that she can do better. In my opinion. you should probably just wait it out and maybe work on that thing where you learn to think about what you really want before you do something that might hurt someone you supposedly care about. It’s personal development like that that will make a girl take an ex that broke up with her like a jerk back. No self-respecting woman would take you back if you were still the same butthead that hurt her.
Yeah, I get it. Some people break up with their girlfriends to make a point or to make them appreciate the relationship more. Then, they get in this cycle of breaking up and getting back together rather than just discussing the issue and coming up with a solution like functional adults. It’s a childish way to get what they want, but it’s become a reoccurring pattern that I see every day. People will do anything if it means they can avoid talking about their feelings. It’s almost amazing. And it might work a couple times, maybe even longer than that, but eventually, the cycle gets old.
I would venture to guess that most of the issues couples have these days have to do with a lack of communication.
But the truth of the matter is, most people get into relationships with new people after a breakup simply because they are afraid to be alone. I have a friend who would date guys she completely hated just so she didn’t have to be single. They didn’t last very long, but, in her mind, something was better than nothing. I always feel bad for the guys though, even the really crappy ones, because she runs through them like they are walls and she’s the Kool-Aid man.
If it has been a while since you broke up, she could just feel like it’s time to move on. I get it if you were expecting to just sit back and wait for her to come back, but it rarely works out like that.
If you just sat around waiting for her to come back and she moved on, your best course of action is to let her be and put some effort into things on your end. I’m pretty sure Chris wrote an article about getting her back if she’s seeing someone new. I’ll be sure to put a link at the bottom so you can read that after you are done here.
Perhaps she reacted unexpectedly.
It is impossible for you to know how someone is going to react in any given situation.
If she’s going about life as if everything is fine, then she is probably doing a really great job of hiding any pain she might be feeling. Because EVERYONE deals with some pain after a breakup, even the one who initiated the breakup. You should know by now that being dumped sucks, especially if she respects you as a person.
This could mean two things. Either she is respecting your decision by not trying to talk you out of it. Or it could mean that she respects you enough to assume that you aren’t playing games by saying one thing when you really want another.
If this is the case, I would be 100% flattered.
Who doesn’t want respect?
If you were playing games, or you dumped her hoping she’d hav3e an epiphany and morph into some cookie cutter mold of the girl you want her to be then come back, my suggestion is to decide exactly what the heck you want before you make any moves to get her back.
If you just want her back because your feelings are hurt and you’re just going to change your mind again once you get her back, then don’t waste your time or hers. Hurting her to make you feel better is a jerk move.
Yeah, I said it.
Taking other people’s feelings into consideration is part of that personal development thing I was talking about earlier.
If these are the thoughts that are going through your mind, then I suggest you look into making some alterations to your way of thinking and make some adjustments. Because getting her back just to realize that you are just going to end it again is unfair to her… and you.
However, if you realize you made a mistake and you actually want her back, that personal development is key. You need to learn a more productive way to voice what it is that you want without lashing out.
In other words… grow up and learn to deal with your emotions rather than letting them control you. Learn to understand why you are doing the things you are.
She started seeing an ex.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m hurting I usually look to surround myself with the familiar. It is comforting. For me, that means diving into some project and listening to music.
For some people feeling safe means going back to places or situations that make them feel safe. For example, I will drive four hours just so my best friend can give me a hug because his hugs make me feel better when something is really bothering me.
If she has started seeing an ex again, it could just be that she needed something familiar. It could also be that combined with not wanting to be alone.
It’s also possible that she decided she wanted something different fro what she had with you. I know that that isn’t something that you want to hear, but it is a possibility.
What Did You Expect?
Like I said before, even if you know her better than anyone, you aren’t going to ever be able to guarantee that someone will react the way you want them to in any given situation.
If you can, then I’m sure we can turn that into a lucrative circus act or something, because it is rare.
- Did you expect last night booty calls?
- Did you expect her to be calling you begging you to come back?
- Did you expect “I miss you” messages, maybe “I miss you even though I am seeing someone new?”
- Maybe you thought she’d offer to change whatever caused the breakup.
- Maybe you though she would hold off on dating since you haven’t yet.
- Maybe you thought she would never even consider with anyone other than you ever.
I understand the notions.
You are letting what you want color your perception of what might happen. You aren’t taking the fact that a breakup DID happen factor in.
You would be surprised at the flood of people I have heard say that they thought that breaking up would make their (now) ex value them more, maybe become the person they want them to be.
What you expect is hardly ever what actually happens.
So, you might as well let go of what it is that you thought would happen and embrace the fact that ANYTHING could happen.
The Mistakes You Are Making
At the beginning of a relationship, having someone dote on you is flattering. However, when someone crawls after you after a breakup, it becomes something different altogether.
Without the fog of the beginnings of a new relationship, doting on her can come off more assertive than you mean it to be. In fact, it is more likely to push her away.
All of these “mistakes” will push her away. And believe me, if you want her back, that’s the last thing you want right now.
Begging and Pouring Your Heart Out
I actually dealt with this myself yesterday. yesterday. My ex texted me telling me how much he loved me and started describing every sweet moment he should have valued when we were together… SIX YEARS AGO!!
Don’t get me wrong, it was really nice to know that he had been paying attention while we were together. I can’t help but think that maybe if he had placed that kind of value on those moments when we were together we might not have gone our separate ways.
None-the-less, his pouring his heart out didn’t drudge up old feelings or make me suddenly want to get back together. It made me sad that he had taken our relationship for granted then. It made me feel bad for whatever situation he was dealing with that made him suddenly realize out of the blue that he made a huge mistake.
While hearing nice things is… well… nice, it isn’t enough.
Offering To Change to Fix Things
Telling someone that things are going to be different, you’ll get a job, you’ll listen more, you’ll stop sleeping with her friends, or you’ll get in shape… it’s bull.
I’d love to say that that call yesterday was unusual, but I constantly have exes that promise changes “if only I would give them another chance.”
You know what I say to that?
“I’ll believe it when I see it.”
I have this one ex that I’m still really good friends with, but he lives overseas. He is always promising that, when he gets stateside, he’ll make a point to find his way to my area so we can catch up in person.
It’s not that he’s trying to get back together with that move. However, every time he’s even 45 minutes away in his hometown he finds some excuse not see me.
So, after having him promise and fail to make the effort so many times, I finally said, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” instead of, “yeah absolutely I’ll clear my schedule!”
Women don’t want promises. We want something tangible, changes we can see.
Don’t tell us. Show us!
Throwing The Equivalent of a Tantrum
Whining, yelling, crying, and making a scene… it’s not attractive.
I actually watched a grown man do this the other day at the coffee shop. It seemed he had asked his ex to get a coffee with him. Every single person on that patio was doing a terrible job pretending like they weren’t watching him sob… loudly… as he pleaded with her to please just take him back over and over again.
The girl trying to study at the table on the other side of them looked like she was going to start begging her too, possibly just so she could stop reading the same paragraph over and over.
Afterward, he tried to make conversation as if I didn’t witness it all.
It was almost painful.
After he had been talking to me for a while, I asked him why he acted that way.
He said he just thought that, if she saw what a mess he was without her, she would take pity on him and take him back.
I had to ask, “Do you really want your entire relationship to become a charity case or do you actually love her?”
Yeah, I know. In every movie, the guy makes a big grand gesture and he gets the girl.
That’s not how it works.
Romance is great.
Standing there stomping your foot and demanding that she “just hears you out,” is childish.
It’s the equivalent of watching a grow man lay down in the cereal aisle screaming because he wants a certain kind that they don’t carry anymore.
It’s entertaining for a second. Then it’s majorly annoying.
Don’t be that guy.
No girl wants to deal with a manchild charity case.
So just don’t.
So, What Should You Do Now?
As is Ex Recovery fashion…I suggest taking some time away from her.
I know every other site, book, and article you have read has talked about No Contact as if you just cut her out for a while and make her miss you.
Ex Recovery isn’t everyone else.
We take No Contact seriously.
It’s not just waiting. It’s a plan of action.
You aren’t going to just wait.
That would be silly.
You’d be diving right back into the same old problems.
But, how do you keep from doing that?
Well, I’ll tell you the same thing I would tell anyone who is trying to get off a lop-sided merry go round.
You have to stop it.
You don’t keep riding it around in circles.You don’t get off and get back on the same ride
You don’t get off and get back on the same ride that you just got off.
If you were, in fact, trying to repair a playground ride rather than a relationship where would you start? The foundation, right?
Now, I know that you are probably staring at your phone right now hoping that she’ll text you back. Perhaps you’ve already made some of the mistakes I’ve mentioned.
Lucky for you, Chris has already covered how to come back after making every mistake possible. I’ll include it at the bottom along with the other article.
The most important part, and I can’t stress this enough, is that you don’t overanalyse everything that she’s doing and turn your focus to things that are in your control.
You don’t look at the merry go round; look at the base that it sits on.
Don’t look at the relationship you had or your idea of it; build up your part of the foundation that it sits upon. Don’t try and control her part of the foundation. You can’t force her to do anything. So, do what you can to make things work out in your favor.
You get to choose where you allow your attention to land. If you allow it to fall on things that you wish you could control rather than what you actually have control over, then you might as well just push her away right now and give up, because that will accomplish the exact opposite.
However, if you go after the things that you can control and stop giving her the attention she is sure to be expecting, then she’ll wonder what you are up to.
You know what happens when her curiosity peaks, right?
That means that no matter how sure she is about all of the decisions she has made up until this point, she WILL find a way to check in on you.
So, make an effort to improve your life without her in it. When curiosity gets the better of her and she comes around to see what has your attention, think about what you want her to see.
Imagine you are her and in her position.
Your knee jerk reaction is to dote on her, pour over her and make yourself indispensable.
But, if she feels like you are chasing her, that curiosity will never exist and why would she return to a life that she has already decided she can survive without.
You want to thrive and create a life that she’ll want to return to. You want to light a tiny little fear fire that you could possibly live not just without her but happily without her, possibly happily with someone else.
Even women who don’t think a man is “the one”, will picture a life with him. As a woman, I can tell you that if you stoke the fire that you could possibly be happy without her she will turn the chase towards you.
Create a good life.