You’ve done a proper amount of wallowing, maybe even hit the single bars, forced yourself t go on a few dates and even slept with someone new. But you just can’t get your ex out of your system. You feel you need him back. And, guess what: he’s open to the possibility. So, how do you go about this without instantly crashing and burning—again? Follow these rules.
Figure out if there was love there
If there was ever any question of whether or not his love was genuine for you, then forget it. There has to be deep love to overcome the trauma of having broken up, because with the breakup will come a slew of pride and insecurity issues. If your ex didn’t truly love you, his pride and insecurities will dictate his actions if/when you do get back together. And it will be a roller coaster.
Make sure it’s for the right reasons
Make sure this isn’t just because…you’re terrified of being alone/your biological clock is ticking/he was great on paper/you’re heartbroken over somebody else/you want to have the upper hand because he dumped you. If anything other than a genuine desire to be with him, and be good to him, and be good to yourself is at play, things will fall apart fast.
Take at least a month apart
There is no rush to get back together. In fact, you shouldn’t rush. It’s amazing what a month can do for your mental and emotional state. So much anger can dissipate, so many things become clear, and sometimes you discover you don’t even want the ex back. But, if you discover you do still want him back after a month of no contact, then you probably really do want to be with him.
Ask yourself if there are solutions to your problems
You broke up because there appeared to be insurmountable issues. So, what are you going to do about those? Has new information come to light that makes those issues conquerable? It better have, or you’ll be fighting about the same old things again as soon as the makeup sex is over.
Hold off on sex
Wait at least a couple of weeks before jumping back in the sack, even if you are back together. Sex confuses things. It can make you and your partner feel bonded and happy, and can cover up other issues. But not for long. If you hold off on sex, any residual problems will pop up sooner. And you need to see if that happens.
Talk about those problems
Don’t let the Cloud-9 feeling cloud the problems. Before even making the decision to be back together, sit down and make a plan of concrete actions for how you’ll overcome the issues that broke you up in the first place. Consider getting back together your prize for having this discussion.
Do not push your ex into a decision. Don’t expect him to call you every day, or see you a few times a week in the pre-getting-back-together phase. He has a lot to think about. His hesitation or lag time doesn’t mean he doesn’t want you. It means you mean enough to him, that he’s putting real thought into this decision. Be patient.
Let him miss you a little
When you’re in the beginning phases of talking again, don’t blow up his phone with texts and calls. Make your presence felt with a few texts or calls a week—give him something to think about, and to miss—and then leave the phone alone. Remind him what it’s like to have you back in his life, but don’t impose yourself onto him. Make him want more.
Don’t let your friends make you feel bad
Your friends will want to protect you. They won’t approve of your decision to get back with an ex. But hey, they’ve made mistakes that they wish they could take back, too. Appreciate their concern, but follow your gut. You know what’s right for you.
Don’t let your friends make him feel bad
Have a serious talk with your friends and let them know your ex is back for good, and they need to respect him. If he feels judgment from them, he might bail again. Or at the very least, he won’t want to hang around them, and you’ll feel torn.
Don’t jump back into routine
Don’t immediately spend five nights a week together, grocery shop on Sunday mornings together, and have sex at the same time each evening. If your new relationship looks too much like your old one, you’re at risk of old arguments cropping up.
Go on dates
You should be putting your best foot forward! Yes, you’ve dated him before, but you don’t get to go back to hanging out in your PJ’s and watching TV. You both need to feel real effort from one another right now. Plan dates. Put yourself in situations where you need to have real, engaging conversations.
Start a new relationship
To really drive the point home, try to do as much as you can differently than how you used to with this partner. The only true way to get back with an ex is to start a new relationship. In essence, you’re not getting back with an ex. You’re getting together with a new person. You both are new people, with new insight on love and on yourselves. Enjoy the giddiness of a new relationship.
The past details are in the past
If the underlying issues of your breakup have been properly addressed, there should be no need to bring up past mistakes. But really: don’t bring up past mistakes. You have to commit to forgiving and forgetting if this is going to work. It’s not sustainable to get mad about everything that reminds you of the past, because there will be a lot that reminds you of it. Let it go.