When you get into a relationship, the possibility that it may not work out doesn’t even remotely take up any space in your mind. Even as the relationship progresses and there begin to appear differences and clashes, you’re not quite prepared for it to end until it’s curtains — a breakup comes to pass. That’s why how to win your ex back can be the most dominant thought on your mind when a relationship runs its course.
In that state of mind, when you’re confused, hurting, reeling under feelings of loss and grief, all of which leave you emotionally drained, figuring out the right course of action can be hard. Do you really want your ex back? Or is this desire stemming from the vacuum that the breakup has created in your life?
Some distance and the right perspective are what you need to decide if rekindling an old romance is indeed what you want. Only then can you plan and execute the different stages of getting back together with an ex to the T. Let’s help you do just that, with brief inputs from psychologist Juhi Pandey (M.A, Psychology), who specializes in dating, premarital, and breakup counseling, and Counseling psychologist Gopa Khan, who specializes in family therapy and mental health issues.
18 Steps To Win Your Ex Back
The end of a relationship is not always a result of two people falling out of love or being incompatible as partners. Sometimes, circumstances can force your hand, bringing you to take a decision that you didn’t really want.
In such situations, wanting to win your ex-girlfriend back – or ex-boyfriend for that matter – isn’t a decision riddled with red flags. If you think that you acted in haste or regret the breakup, it’s perfectly okay to want to give the relationship another shot. After all, it’s better to have tried than to live your life wondering what could have been.
Even so, it’s important to know that winning an ex back isn’t as simple as sending a “hey” their way. You’ll be praying for a response, and your ex will be wondering how to even reply to a ‘hey’ and forget about it before they even put their phone down. Needless to say, if you’re thinking “Can you win an ex back?”, you can, but you need to approach the matter properly.
If that’s where you are post-breakup, here are 18 sure-shot ways to win your ex back and make them stay forever:
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1. Don’t contact your ex for a while
When you want to win your ex-boyfriend back or get back together with your ex-girlfriend, picking up the phone and shooting them a text can be an overpowering instinct. However, if you want to know how to win your ex back and make it work for the long haul, the answer lies in distancing yourself from them in the immediate aftermath of the breakup.
This is popularly known as the No Contact Rule, which can prove to be instrumental in bringing former partners together, as it helps them gain perspective of their relationship.
Gopa says, “Going through a spell of no contact after a breakup is essential to avoid getting trapped in a revolving door relationship – where partners are caught in a loop of breaking up and getting back together. For it to be effective, both people must be committed to taking a step back from the ex’s life and respect each other’s boundaries.”
2. Assess your relationship
During the No Contact period, take the time to introspect and assess your relationship pragmatically. Did you two love each other? Do you still feel the same way about them? What about them? Was it a healthy relationship? Were you truly happy with each other? What drove you apart?
Can you work through those differences? Will your ex be willing to make an effort to change things at their end? Are you confident that you can break the old patterns that may have contributed to the breakup?
Be honest with yourself when answering these questions. Your answers will give you clarity about whether or not you want to win your ex back or not. If yes, you can start planning how to win your ex back after no contact. By asking yourself these questions, you’d inadvertently be answering “how to know if you should get back with your ex or not”.
If during the time off you realized what you really liked was the idea of the relationship and not necessarily your partner in their entirety, you’ve just answered the question for yourself.
3. Find out if they still have a soft spot for you
Maria called it quits with a guy she was dating only to realize that the relationship was the best thing that had happened to her in a long time. She pushed these feelings away for over a year, but they only came back stronger. At times, she caught herself thinking “Why do I miss my ex so much even though I left him?” At some point, she decided to work on winning back her ex-boyfriend.
“The question staring me in the face was: how to get your ex back after a year? I hadn’t been in touch with him in a while and had no clue whether he had moved on or not. Then, a wise friend said ‘his soft spot is your strongest ally in winning him back’, and that really resonated with me.
“I casually started making inroads into his circle of friends, touching base, dropping a ‘hello’ on social media, leading with casual inquiries to see how they were doing. Most of them said the same thing – he still remembered me fondly and reminisced about our time together,” she says.
Maria saw this as a signal to make her move. If you too want to win your ex-boyfriend back and don’t know how they’d react, gauging whether they still care about you is a good place to start. Winning an ex back needs different approaches depending on your scenario. The more information you can gather before you even make your move will help your chances of succeeding.
4. Work on yourself
Before you reach out to your ex, wanting to pick up from where you left off, take some time to work on yourself. If the relationship didn’t work out the first time around, you ought to have contributed to it in some way. Weeding out those little irritants hold the key to how to win your ex back for good. If you start over again as the same people who couldn’t make it work the first time around, you will end up with the same results.
Once again, you will find yourself going down the slippery slope of fights and arguments that spell doom for your relationship. For instance, if you were too insecure or jealous in the relationship, get to the root of these tendencies and address them before making overtures to win your ex back.
To see your efforts yield results, your reasons have to be right. Do it to become a better version of yourself, and not for the sole purpose of winning back your ex. If you’re trying to answer “Should you try to win your ex back?” the answer is pretty much no, if it means you’ll fall back to the damaging ways that once harmed your relationship to the point of the breakup.
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5. Build your self-esteem
Juhi Pandey says low self-esteem can be the root cause of many perilous patterns that can cost you your relationships. “If you felt insecure in your relationship or operated from a place of jealousy the first time around, low self-esteem could be the underlying trigger.
“The best way to address it is by investing in self-care. Small lifestyle changes such as staying active, practicing mindfulness committing to a good diet and sleep can change the way you view yourself, and in turn, how you behave in relationships,” she says.
In case, your partner has been the one who called it quits, the breakup can further dent your sense of the self. This makes it even more imperative that you work on rebuilding your self-esteem before figuring out how to win your ex-girlfriend back or get your ex-boyfriend to go out with you again. Over time, you might realize that having confidence issues might be one of the reasons why you’re single.
When you’re feeling down about yourself, you might end up thinking that getting back in a relationship with your ex is the only way of reclaiming some self-worth, since a different person will give you a confidence boost. It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t be looking for a confidence boost or validation from anyone but yourself. If you’re saying, “I miss my ex so much it hurts”, work on why it hurts so much before trying to win them back.
6. Focus on other aspects of your life
Yes, we know you may be wondering how focusing on other aspects of life will help you win your ex back. Well, it may not instantly take you down the path of patching things up with your former partner, but will definitely help you stay productively occupied while you process your post-breakup emotions and understand what you truly want.
Be it work, your hobbies and passions, nurturing your relationship with friends and family, do things that bring you joy to avoid acting too soon or rashly. Besides, this will help evolve your personality, making you a more well-rounded and desirable version of yourself.
Be someone your ex won’t be able to resist when you do make overtures to win them over again. Once you do focus on productively shifting your attention to things that will make you whole again, you’ll also be reclaiming any lost confidence or happiness you might’ve lost along the way. Can your ex really say no to you if you’re glowing the next time they see you?
It may seem counterintuitive at first, but winning an ex back requires you to work on yourself before you even make a move. So get those dumbbells out, or start picking up more satisfying projects.
7. Work on your appearances
Do you really need to focus on your looks to win your ex-boyfriend back or get the attention of your ex-girlfriend? Well, it may not exactly bring your ex running back to you but it will certainly make them sit up and take notice. Perhaps, even view you in a new light.
Stacey says she went for a radical makeover after her heart-crushing breakup. Though she was pining for her ex even months after they had parted ways, she didn’t have the heart to reach out to him after having been dumped. Then, she posted a few pictures of a trip she had taken with her girl gang.
Lo and behold, her ex reacted to her pictures within minutes of her posting them. After a few weeks of dropping likes, he finally slid into her DMs by responding to an Insta story. That gave her the much-needed breakthrough to rekindle the romance with her ex-boyfriend.
If you’ve already started your post-breakup gym transformation, you’ve already upped your chances of your ex coming back to you. When those leg days finally start paying off, you’ll have a message from your text before you can even answer “should you try to win your ex back?”
8. Don’t badmouth your ex
This is one of the classic mistakes to avoid when getting your ex back. When you’re hurting after a breakup, it’s only natural to want to vent. But doing so in front of mutual friends or on social media can gravely dampen your prospects of winning your ex back.
That’s why it’s best to keep your circle tight. Share your feelings – no matter how raw or unpleasant – with a few trusted friends rather than going to town with them. That way, if you decide to get back together with them, words said in the heat of the moment won’t stand in your way.
We’d suggest going easy on the drinks as well. A couple of wine glasses might prompt you to send an “I hate u” text to your ex. Needless to say, the next morning you’ll be Googling “how to win someone back after hurting them”.
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9. Don’t act desperate
Getting back together with your ex may be the only thing on your mind, but don’t let that make you act from a place of desperation. Inundating their phone with a barrage of texts or making 2 am drunken texts and calls begging them to take you back is a big no-no.
In those particularly lonely nights, you might be all curled up thinking to yourself, “I want my ex back so bad it hurts”, but that still doesn’t mean you can call them right that very instant. This is especially crucial if you want to win your ex back when they’re seeing someone else. Patrick wanted to get his old relationship back but his ex was already back on the dating scene. She was casually seeing someone new.
“All my friends asked me the same thing: how are you going to win your ex-girlfriend back when she seems to be moving on? It may have seemed fool-hardy to others, but I was confident that my two years with her would carry more weight than a few-weeks-old fling.
“Besides, our breakup had just been a big misunderstanding, and I didn’t want to live with the regret of not having tried hard enough. So, I gradually worked my way back into her life and made her see that I would be there for her no matter what. It took time but she did pick me over the other guy,” he says.
10. Approach them with a casual request
Whether you want to know how to get your ex back after a year or just a couple of months later, the key is not to ambush them. Instead, ease yourself into their life by touching base, spending some time catching up, and then, casually suggesting doing something together.
Make sure whatever you suggest is non-committal and non-coupley. For instance, you can tell them about a new café or a hot new pub that has come up in your vicinity, and ask if they’d like to check it out with you. Or you could invite them for a drink with friends over the weekend.
Anything that doesn’t make your ex feel like they’re being sucked back into the relationship right off the bat is a good place to start. Plus, if you’re trying to figure out how to know if you should get back with your ex or not, the way they respond to hanging out and their body language when you two do meet will tell you all you need to know. Who knew noticing the way they conduct themselves around you will tell you if you can win an ex back or not?
11. Treat it like your first date
Given that you have both been in a relationship and then parted ways, there is bound to be a ton of emotional baggage to deal with. Just when you’ve reconnected with your ex is not the time to address it. It is vital to go through the different stages of getting back together with an ex, one step at a time, to avoid hitting a roadblock.
Before you get to the point of raking up old issues, you have to learn to be in the same room without feeling your heart rip. Then, comes the part where you learn to enjoy each other’s company despite your differences. Only when you’re past these stages can you have an honest conversation about the past and future.
To get there, you must treat this casual, non-committal outing with your ex like you would any first date. Keep your questions fun and interesting, but don’t get too intrusive. You may be dying to know if they’ve slept with someone since the breakup or whether they’ve dated in the interim. Resist that temptation.
Instead, ask them about their work, friends, hobbies, family, and so on. “So, are you still playing miniature golf with Joseph?”, is a more appropriate ‘first date’ question than, “Did you finally sleep with that coworker you had a crush on?”
12. Flirt a little
Another one of the common mistakes to avoid when getting your ex back is trying to rein in the sexual tension when you meet them for the first time after the breakup. Doing so can quickly box you into the friendzone. Your ex may misconstrue your overtures as an effort to be friends after the breakup.
So, make it a point to flirt a little, leaving no ambiguity about your intentions. Even if you don’t say it in as many words, they’d still get a sense of what you want. However, you still need to be a little careful with this one. If you’re trying to win someone back after hurting them, they might not appreciate you flirting with them right off the bat. Read the room, slip in a flirt and see how they respond.
13. Don’t sleep with them just yet
Flirting with the ex you’re trying to win back is one thing, getting in the sack with them is quite another. The latter is a slippery slope that will land you in a confusing place where you’re neither together nor broken up. Bouncing back from there and rebuilding a relationship can be hard.
Suzie, who was head over heels in love with her ex, decided to meet him and have a conversation about what went wrong and whether they could give the relationship another shot.
“To counter the awkwardness of being together for the first time since the breakup, we both downed more than a few shots. Before I could even speak my mind, our lips were locked. We hurriedly paid the check and headed back to his place and ended up making bold, passionate love to each other. Several times over.
“The next morning, the conversation I had in mind seemed inconsequential. I never got to ask what I wanted to, he never suggested getting back together. Now, we’re caught in a fuck-buddy sort of a relationship. We touch base every week or so to hook up and that’s that,” she rues.
A situation like that may end up hurting you a lot more, all over again. Without honest, open conversation, you’ll never really be able to tell your ex what you want and you’ll be stuck in the limbo of the friends with benefits dynamic. Before you know it, you’ll catch yourself saying, “I want my ex back so bad it hurts” all over again.
14. Have a conversation about the future
Once you’re both comfortable with each other and have been meeting and talking often, you can finally broach the topic of getting back together. Tell your ex that you want to give the relationship another shot, and then, allow them to respond.
Their initial reaction may or may not be what you had expected. Since you’ve been through a breakup, coming across as somewhat skeptical or unsure about getting back together is normal. Remember, that you have been thinking about how to win your ex back for a long time now.
Your ex, on the other hand, may not have entertained the thought in as much detail. The first time you pop the question, give your ex the time to process, think and respond. It’s perfectly okay if they want to sleep over it or think about it before making a decision.
Don’t panic or start imagining worst-case scenarios in your head.
15. Address the elephant in the room
Another one of the mistakes to avoid when getting your ex back is re-starting your relationship without addressing the issues that caused you to part ways in the first place. For instance, if you’re trying to win your ex back after cheating, it’s imperative to talk about how you’re going to make up for the trust deficit.
Take the example of Eliana and Steve. Eliana walked out of the relationship and the home she shared with Steve after discovering that he was cheating on her. Steve regretted his mistake, wanted to make amends and start over.
Even though a part of Eliana also wanted to be with Steve, she just couldn’t bring herself to get past the infidelity. So, they went into couple’s therapy and worked their way to rebuilding trust in the relationship before getting back together in full earnest.
Related Reading: What should I do if I love someone who does not love me?
16. Discuss how you can make relationship 2.0 better
The fact that you and your ex parted ways is proof that something was not working out between you two. Perhaps, one of you was too insecure or jealous in the relationship. Or maybe there were constant fights about one partner needing space in the relationship and the other not accommodating that need.
Since you’ve been through the whole together-apart-together-again rigmarole, you must find a way to work around these issues and make your relationship better than before. Unless you do that, this won’t be the last time you’d break up and get back together again.
That on-again-off-again tendency quickly escalates into a toxic pattern that’s not healthy for either partner.
17. Leave the past behind
Once you’ve addressed your issues, complaints and grudges, worked through your issues, leave the past behind. If you truly want to not just win your ex back but also make them stay forever, this is non-negotiable.
Commit to treating your renewed partnership as you would any new relationship. No bringing up mistakes from the past into the present and future.
For instance, after you’ve succeeded in your efforts to win your ex back after cheating, steer clear of the tendency to doubt them at every step of the way. No secretly checking their phone or questioning them about their whereabouts over and over again.
Whenever you do that, you’re sending out a signal that you don’t fully trust them. In that case, the old skeletons in the closet will come tumbling out sooner or later and overpower your relationship.
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18. Take the leap
Now that you’re past all the stages of getting back together with an ex, the only thing left to do is take the leap and start dating again. Take baby steps and rebuild your relationship afresh rather than starting from where you left off the last time.
Of course you two will share a level of comfort and intimacy having been in a relationship before. That can work to your advantage when restarting your relationship. Even so, ease yourself back into the stage where you were at the time of the breakup.
For instance, if you were living together when you broke up, don’t pack your bags and move back in as soon as you decide to give the relationship another chance. Wait a while, see how things progress, and take that decision when you’re both ready for it.
How to win your ex back is neither easy nor quick, especially if you want to make the relationship last. However, if you patiently go through the process of creating distance and being on your own for a while before mending bridges with your former partner, you can make it work.