When it comes to getting your ex boyfriend back, you will almost always be your worst enemy. Chances are before having read this article you will committed a few foul-ups borne of trauma and panic which can lead to a further distancing on his behalf. There are two distinct scenarios which will require different strategies, we’ll deal with the murkier one first.
He Broke Up With You.
How long he mulled the break up over mentally is a very telling indicator of how much they mean it. Most men are notoriously impulsive — but not all — or at least, not every-time. When a relationship matures it can be difficult to key into warning signs that he has begun to reconsider the relationship, due to the fact that complacency steps in. But think back to the last few months of the relationship and try and pin-point a moment where things subtly took a turn for the worse. Usually, as you become more objective and less panicky in a post-breakup scenario, dumpees usually realize that the turning point was a lot further back then they initially had decided. Some subtle indicators of loss of interest can include (for instance):
- Appearing less and less their best (unkempt, poor choice of clothes, worsening hygiene e.t.c).
- Less confrontational (ironically, a heated discussion involves caring deeply. A man who no longer fights to offer his opinions might simply have stopped caring whether you understood them).
- More inclined to seek personal sanctuary (more time with their friends, alone, or on their hobbies).
Getting him back after a break up involves behind honest with yourself. I’ll throw this out here, and don’t hate me for it: If he’s been a trooper and weathered the decline for many months (and occasionally years) before letting go, you’re chances aren’t very good. Conversely, if it truly seemed to come out of nowhere, even if you suspect it’s because someone else is involved, you stand a fairly good chance at reconciliation. I’ll outline my opinion on the best course of action after the next section.
You Broke Up With Him
Even if things were pretty horrid, and despite the fact that you feel you made a mistake you know it was on some level a “warranted decision”, grief and rejection will swiftly take their toll on him. That is to say, if he’s stopped dragging his emotional carcass across the floor in your direction — chances are he’s become quite resentful (again, even if he knows it was the right decision). Reconciling will involve patience and diligence on your part. If you attempt to approach him after a period of silence, don’t talk directly about the relationship, and don’t assume you still know him. At best you’ll confuse him (he might not trust you anymore), at worst he may ignore you entirely.
You’ll want to drag this one out over time. Start by pulsing a message here and there sporadically (keep them unpredictable, and keep them sparse), and gauge your progress. If he caves in, or shouts at you, don’t immediately take them as terminal, there will be a lot of pent up anger. Having said that, he may genuinely have moved on, be with someone else or simply not be interested anymore. It will be up to you to decide whether or not his coldness is a smokescreen or the real thing. But bear this in mind: Any emotion whatsoever — including rage and hurt — are signs of caring.
The Only Viable Strategy
I’ve often talked about the no contact method as a way for dumpees to discipline themselves as well as improve the changes for reconciliation. In this case, if you were the one who was dumped, please consider the value of limiting your availability and your need to find closure by way of communication. Now how on earth is creating distance a rewarding strategy?
- Familiarity breeds contempt. The higher the supply, the lower the demand. And on, ad nauseum (I could literally spew out another dozen weathered clichés off by heart). Simply put, increasing the rate of contact will never, ever, improve your chances. Only when you drop off the map entirely will he have the chance to miss you. Is there a limit to this? Yes, of course. Sometimes particularly prideful people will walk on regardless, and running the other way will be the nail in the coffin. But bear in mind that if this comes to pass, it probably wasn’t worth saving!
- It gives you the chance to heal and shine as an individual. You may come to realize you are better off alone.
- It allows you to regain a modicum of power over the relationship (yes, you can make decisions too. Even if they’re small ones they will help your self-esteem) and set-up an objective and healthy pedestal for reconciliation (taking a step back mentally as well as physically will have given you volumes of understanding).
There is a catch here. If you’re withdrawing affection to starve him out and make him come back out of guilt or trauma — you’re going to lose. Because the reasons that led him back will be temporary, and within a few weeks/months you’ll be back in the land of singledom. In order to do it right, you’ll have to risk losing him.
So, what should you do?
- Improve your life without him. Focus on work, fitness or creating a new social network. Whatever you like! If he does catch-on to your rampant new beginning, it will renew his interest in you. But these changes have to be real, these new attractive qualities must be sincere.
- Be dignified (limit contact, no begging, be honest) but be wary of pride (know when to concede, and do take an honest look at your own mistakes — admit them freely).
- Be strong and keep a very close eye on your self-esteem. If you find yourself eating breakfast with someone you know isn’t “at your level”, it may be time for you to seek sanctuary. Likewise, by all means glory in socialization (it will help beat the more punitive aspects of rejection and stress) but if you find you are somber and uncomfortable alone, it may be worth your while to fight it off by forcing yourself to be alone for awhile.