Now I know a lot of dating advice out there may advocate various strategies for how to get your ex boyfriend back by driving your ex wild with jealousy, or hitting on his emotions so he comes back begging.
I get in the height of heartbreak why you may think having your ex crying on your doorstep with a bunch of roses would be AWESOME but it is really not what your life goals should be.
So instead of spending your time plotting and scheming how to get your ex boyfriend back (or in my case how to get BACK at your ex boyfriend) it’s usually better thinking about how you can get past this mental block that is preventing you from moving on.
(And I say this as a person who has had some serious brain glitches around someone I loved in the past. Like ‘Ok I know he’s a totally evil, narcissistic, patriarchal, womanising BUT I miss him and we like had this SPECIAL connection…’ #yawn #hateyoubrain)
So first of all acknowledge the feels you have. They’re okay. Our brain in fact naturally releases hormones when we fight/ split with a partner that sends our attachment systems into over drive making us want to re-attach. Ergo plotting how to get your ex boyfriend back. Everyone also finds patterns comforting, even bad ones, which is why we keep up bad habits and end up in the same kinds of relationships over and over.
To help you with this I am going to write my best strategies for getting you out of the ‘how to get your ex boyfriend back’ mindset.
1. You guys broke up. What was the reason for that? Relationships don’t just break down for no reason, and if you feel this one did I am getting to this in my next point! It is too easy to go back into your drawer of memories thinking, ‘I remember that time when we were in the bluebells and I never felt so connected’. There is a phrase for this and it is ‘rose tinted’.
What about that time when he made that cruel comment? What about those lies he told? What about how you were constantly at each other’s throats? The time he had a terrible attitude about you wanting to go and visit your family? Some how as time passes, dates suck you fall into the how to get your ex boyfriend back mindset and forget all these less happy memories.
Always acknowledge your own share of responsibility in terms of why the relationship broke down, but also recognize that that would have been a two way process. Make yourself write a list of reasons why you should never get back together. Drop and give me 10.
Lack of resolution. I actually think it’s a little trickier when there’s not a clear reason why something broke down. Maybe he gave you the old, ‘I need some time to work on myself,’ and then proceeded to drop off the face of the planet. I can tell you right now that there’s no mystery here. He lacked the personal/ moral responsibility he owed you and took an easy route out. Easy for him, hard for you. Again – not showing great qualities as a human here. I need you to look to his actions not his words and get things clear in your mind. Do what you need to create closure.
This could be doing the classic ‘write a letter and burn it’ or ‘write an angry email and not send it.’ I have been known to go several steps further than this and write A LOT of love poetry AND send it. Often I’ve balanced off ‘hmmm am I going to look crazy’ vs. ‘I actually feel really unhappy about this and need to get this off my chest’ and strongly prioritized what will make me feel better v.s. what everyone else may think.
So take the steps you need to take (whilst staying safe and avoiding direct contact if possible) to vent. Close the door. Even if it swings open, know it will one day close totally. This is what you’re aiming for, not how to get your ex boyfriend back.
It should have worked. Another problem with closure could be because you feel something circumstantial got in the way of the relationship working. Maybe you or he had other problems in your life (money, addictions, bereavements) that meant the relationship broke down under the pressure. Again it can be hard not to think of greener grasses and imagine ‘what if’ things had been different.
Harsher people may say, ‘well they weren’t’.
But that may not feel true for you. I would approach this by doing things to mark the start of a new era. You are not the same person you were 5 years ago, or even three months ago. It’s time to mark a new era in your life. And trust me if this new era is one by yourself, I know that takes serious balls to get on board with.
I want you to know standing alone and choosing to stay single until you meet someone awesome isn’t always an easy choice – but it’s such a powerful one.
Do what you need to mark this new era. Turn out your wardrobe. Rearrange furniture. Take up a new hobby (I have several bad break ups to thank for now being a good dancer and speaking a second language) and push forwards in recognizing a new time and place in your life.
You had something special. This is hard to get past. The feeling that what you shared was really special. So how about accepting that it was. But that isn’t the only special connection life is going to give you. Not to get all ‘life is like a box of chocolates’ on you but a wise friend once told me, whilst life doesn’t give you Diet Coke twice, sometimes it gives you Fanta.
This means that whilst you won’t get the exact same connection twice you will get something different and awesome in a new and unexpected way.
Annoyingly there’s usually a significant delay on this: which means you have to deal with aloneness. You have to deal with yourself. That’s not easy. So take your time to be with you. Then when you feel ready (& despite what anyone may tell you there is NO RUSH on this one) date, meet people, make new friends. People are endlessly surprising. If you want more new people in your life and to feel that enthusiasm again then head over to my HQ Club where I can teach you some near magical skills to start over and meet people.