While there are no scientifically proven methods of reconciliation that have stood the test of time, there are definitely ways in which we can improve our chances without burying what’s left of our dignity.
To the point then, here’s what I won’t be using to make my case:
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): While NLP can have some advantages with regards to self-growth, the entire field has been largely discredited over the years, and wielding it certainly won’t allow you to project any long-term authority over your romantic life, and especially over someone else’s romantic life.
- Reverse Psychology: A risky technique that can, and often does, backfire. In any case, successful reconciliation will require long-term emotional stability, not manufacturing short-term insecurity (more on this later on in the article).
- Spells/Mantras: I wouldn’t have mentioned this at all, but if my website inbox is anything to go by this is a remarkably tenacious business. At best this is all a short-term placebo, at worst a criminally damaging lead-you-on.
So, what are we left with? A sprinkling of logic and common sense (which I’ll grant you isn’t all that common in a post-breakup scenario when our wits are almost entirely scrambled).
Prefer Dignity Over Compassion
Attraction and sympathy are clearly not symbiotic. Granted, long-term relationships usually see the focus ebb and flow from attraction to attachment, but bear in mind that at this stage of a breakup romantic attachment (as opposed to a more generalized and platonic sense of attachment which may still thrive) will have dwindled considerably, and thus attempting to appeal to it will usually end-up with even more distance.
This doesn’t mean pretending everything is hunky-dory, and it certainly doesn’t mean attempting to manipulate our exs by pretending that grief is no big deal. Preferring dignity over compassion simply means being transparent regarding our intentions, and making an effort to respect their decisions as they stand.
Other than cementing our own self-esteem in the long run, taking a dignified stance during the breakup can also help chances of reconciliation because we are demonstrating strength and a healthy dose of altruistic respect. At the end of the day, how we chose to act in the face of adversity will factor greatly with regards to how we are remembered.
Refuse The Mind Games
If we are the one’s who were dumped, it is clear that the current romantic imbalance is not slated in our favor. Most mind-games aim to manipulate indecision, guilt or insecurity so that this imbalance is corrected.
These games of psychological charades prey on temporary and transient states of insecurity (even if, on the huge off-chance they seem to be working), however, once the emotional waters have had time to stabilize, as they indubitably will, despite our best attempts at muddying them, the only thing that left for us to do will be to burn the house of cards that has collapsed all around us.
The erection of mind games are nothing other than impulsive short-term solutions that aim to quell an immediate, deep-seated needs within us, but since when is real, tangible and successful reconciliation anything other than a long-term goal?
This is the curse that breakups often infect us all with, the evaporation of our sense of objectivity. Pain is immediate, as are longing, grief and solitude, and thus our subjective mind want solace — and it wants it now. But negotiating reconciliation is anything but immediate, and attempting to catalyze existing insecurity so as to level the playing field will only ever yield short-term results that do not satisfy long-term goals (in addition to royally aggravating our exs once they come to realize they were manipulated).
Erect Strong Boundaries
Continuing to allow our exs or the breakup itself to define our lives is highly damaging, both with regards to our chances of reconciliation and towards the process of healing.
The fear of putting our needs first is understandably that it might lead to bridge-burning, but let’s take a closer look at this notion:
- If your relationship with your ex is only acceptable under the roof of romance (and you’re fundamentally not interested in a platonic friendship) then, as things currently stand, the bridges have been burned anyway.
- By breaking up with you, your ex demonstrated enough drive and discipline to put their needs first, this logically enables you to respond in kind. Not arbitrarily out of spite, but because you have a life to live and cannot depend on anything less than absolutes.
- Erecting communicative and behavioral boundaries also help protect you from mind-games and triggers from your ex that might delay your own healing. If you know you will scour every new Facebook highlight for evidence of a new flame, then absolutely do not put yourself in that position, and do not worry about how removing yourself from that scenario (for instance, a Facebook block) will make you look.
Erecting strong breakup boundaries also help your reconciliation chances because they are actions that genuinely (and not merely as the manifestation of a mind game) stem from strength and discipline, which will project value. But most importantly they allow you to dissociate from dependency and set a personalized stage where you can efficiently heal on your terms, and not theirs. Win-win, no matter the outcome.
Free Communication From Raw Emotion
One day you may want to dial their number and tell them how much you love them, the next, if they haven’t answered, you may want to dial again to tell them how much you hate them. So, what’s the real emotion here? Who’s the real you? Are either of these emotions accurate representations of how you feel overall?
I would argue that you should distrust all these oscillations equally, or, perhaps more realistically, allow neither to set the tone of the breakup.
Any injection of raw, unfiltered emotion will lead to a communicative tug of war that will frustrate all involved, in addition to fueling an already heightened pattern of over-analysis. Reconciliation is largely about processing hard facts, and throwing emotions such as anger or guilt in the mix can prejudge an outcome before it’s had a chance to even emerge.
As always, this doesn’t mean being indignantly distant and aloof (this is also the product of raw emotion, if not to you, then your ex will judge it as such), but it does mean limiting discussion to the root causes of your stance regarding reconciliation, and disregarding as much emotional volatility as possible.
Good communication is directly correlated with good chances at reconciliation. Abusing a communicative channel in an effort to stem the tide of our own personal pain (as opposed to mutual, relationship issues) will jam it, and what was once an avenue for getting back together will close permanently to prevent further emotional flooding.