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A few weeks, months, or years ago, you started dating a great guy, but since then, things have crumbled and you’re no longer together. Problem is: you’re thinking about him nonstop, and you’re racking your brain trying to figure out how to get him back.
Maybe he ended things because he wasn’t ready to commit to you and he knew that’s what you wanted.
Maybe you ended it because he did something really stupid.
Either way, you’re regretting what happened and trying to figure out how to rewind, reset, and change the script.
Not to fear, Sexy, Confident Lady. I am your trusty relationship fixer and truth-teller. If it’s meant to be, I’m going to help you learn how to get him back and get back on track to grow a loving and meaningful relationship.
When You Shouldn’t Worry About How to Get Him Back
Like I said: I am your truth-teller, and I need to get something off my chest up front: it’s very possible that you don’t need to get back with this guy. Look, I don’t know the particulars of why you guys broke up, but let me lay down a few dealbreakers that to me mean you shouldn’t get back with him:
- He cheated on you
- He lied in a big way
- He put you down constantly
- He verbally or physically abused you
If any of these situations apply to you, I encourage you to talk to a therapist. There are many psychological reasons why women who have, for example, been abused want to return to the men that hurt them. I’m not in any way encouraging you to get him back if that’s the case.
If he’s cheated and tells you he’ll never do it again, hear this: in a study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers found that individuals who cheated in one relationship were 3x as likely to cheat on their next partner. So…him saying it was a one-time thing? Not likely.
If he’s lied in a major way, you have to ask yourself what else he’s being dishonest about…and whether you can really trust him again.
It absolutely sucks breaking up with a guy who you’ve invested emotional energy and time into. It does. But getting back with him, particularly if any of these situations are the case, is only going to cause you to waste more time and end up with an even bigger broken heart.
Here are the six steps I’m about to walk you through to help you learn how to get him back:
- Step 1: Take your time to reflect
- Step 2: Be too proud to beg
- Step 3: Initiate a “no contact” rule
- Step 4: Don’t obsess over him/live your life
- Step 5: Initiate contact
- Step 6: Commit to a better life together
How to Get Him Back Step 1: Take Your Time to Reflect
Now, before you start working on how to get him back, I really want you to consider whether that’s really what you need and want.
If it’s only been a few days since the breakup, you may not have had enough time to really reflect on why things ended. Your head’s foggy. You’re nursing some serious ego injury at this point, and in this moment, you can’t imagine a life without this guy.
Did you end things out of anger during an argument or when you simply couldn’t stand one of his quirky habits anymore (like how he wouldn’t kiss you with Morning Mouth)? Consider the rest of your relationship. How serious is that issue if you’re looking at the big picture? Maybe he was an awesome, emotionally expressive boyfriend, but you let your temper get the best of you, and now you’re like a dog with your tail between your legs.
Or maybe you ended things for a more serious reason, like the fact that whenever you’d say something emotional (I’m starting to fall for you), he’d respond with…
Maybe he was incapable of giving you any reassurance that he felt the same, and you need that confidence. That may be a dealbreaker and reason enough to know breaking up with him was the right thing to do.
If he broke up with you, remove your defensiveness and really think about why (assuming you know why). Did you two argue about the same thing over and over (i.e. how selfish he thought you were) until he just couldn’t take it anymore? Was there some flaw of yours that made him give up on the hopes of the relationship lasting long-term?
If so, it’s time for some self-reflection. Has this issue come up in past relationships? If the answer is yes, it’s not going to go away any time soon. Now’s the best time for you to address this issue with your personality head on so that you can be a better partner, either for this guy or the next one that comes along.
How do you fix what’s wrong? You might try therapy. Or journaling about it. Talking to a friend who can be honest about your flaws. It won’t happen overnight, but the best thing you can do if you want to know how to get him back is to show that you’re willing to change and start taking baby steps toward better behavior.
How to Get Him Back Step 2: Be Too Proud to Beg
So this guy broke up with you and your first instinct is to beg him to take you back.
I’m so sorry!
I didn’t mean it!
I can do better!
Please don’t leave me!
I’ll just DIE without you!
You see how desperate this sounds when it’s not coming out of your mouth. So…maybe you can see that begging him to take you back isn’t your best course of action. Why? It lowers your value in his eyes.
Think about how you’d feel if he groveled on his knees, blubbering about how his life means nothing without you.
I dunno…maybe that’s validating for women, but most men find it a turnoff. Not the direction we’re trying to go in determining how to get him back!
Maybe you messed up. You certainly can apologize for that. But whether you are able to win him back or not, he’s going to need some time to reflect on things (and you do too; that’s coming up soon in this article) to figure out if he can forgive you and if being together is best for both of you.
He knows he can take you back. And certainly, after you’ve had some time apart, you should sit down and talk about how things went wrong, and whether or not this relationship is worth fixing.
But right after a breakup is not the time to have that conversation.
How to Get Him Back Step 3: Initiate a No Contact Rule
If you’re going to try to clear your head so you can be sure that getting back with this guy is the right decision for you, you will need some space from him. That means zero contact for a few weeks.
No seeing what he’s up to on social media.
No driving past his house.
If he’s trying to win you back and you’re considering taking him back, let him know his best chance of getting you back is to give you some space to think about things. Crowding you and constantly communicating with you won’t give you the space you need to reflect on things. If he’s a good dude, he will respect the No Contact Rule.
Steering clear of your ex gives you time to see what life is like without him. It allows you to see things without a skewed perspective. You may have thought he was perfect for you, but the longer you’re apart, you might start to see large problems that you’d swept under the rug when you were together. Being apart gives you time to work on yourself and start rebuilding your strength.
You may suffer a loss of identity after a breakup, especially if the relationship was a long one. That’s common for both men and women after ending a relationship. Being together is like an addition for you. Right after a breakup, you’re like Leonardo di Caprio in Basketball Diaries (“Reggie! I just need a taste!”). You want that relationship and that hit of seratonin that it brings.
But realize that the longer you go without that hit, the more yourself you’ll be. Rather than automatically getting back together because you can’t imagine who you are without this man, having some time without him around may help you rediscover who you are on your own.
And who knows? You may like that gal enough that you don’t want him back!
How to Get Him Back Step 4: Live Your Life/ Don’t Obsess Over Him
I know how impossible this advice can seem when all you can think about is him.
When you wake up, you feel the spot where he used to lie next to you.
Around 10 am, you miss his daily check-in text.
When you drive past your favorite date restaurant, your eyes well up.
This guy is everywhere in your life and in your head. So how can you get him back by trying to move on?
The fact is: if you’re meant to be with this guy, a little time off to get back to being you certainly won’t change that. Especially if you’ve been with this guy for years, the best thing you can do is push him out of your head and focus on being yourself.
Reconnect with those girlfriends you haven’t seen in months because you’ve been too busy hanging out with your boyfriend.
Hit the gym. Hard. There’s no better time to get in shape than when you’re down and out. One of the benefits of exercising after a breakup includes being too mentally exhausted to play through what went wrong in your head. And being too proud of kicking ass in the gym to cuddle up with that pint of Ben & Jerry’s!
Take up old hobbies that you set aside as you started spending more time with your love. Fill your life with meaningful activities to take the focus off of your pain.
You may find that the more time you have away from the situation, the less it hurts, or even the less you want him back. So take the time to get back to doing the things you used to love to do to find perspective on your love life.
How to Get Him Back Step 5: Initiate Contact
After at least two weeks (more is better) of having no contact, it’s time to initiate contact. Keep in mind: your ex may have no clue that you’re trying to figure out how to get him back, so your reaching out may come as a surprise to him.
Ask if you can meet up. You need to discuss things in person. Have a plan of what you want to say to him. You may want to address:
- What went wrong in the relationship
- The fact that you’ve had time to think, and realize you want him back
- What you did wrong in the relationship
- What you need from him (that he wasn’t delivering)
- How you can move forward from a better place
- Whether he even wants to try to work things out
He may be defensive in this conversation, particularly if you’re discussing his flaws. Find a constructive way to tell him your needs that won’t make him bristle:
You: I realized that I wasn’t getting the emotional support from you that I needed. But that’s partly on me: I didn’t communicate that I needed it until now.
Him: How could I have been more supportive?? I thought I was…
You: I talked a lot about how I was feeling about our relationship, but you really didn’t. I need this to be a two-way conversation where you can tell me how you feel and trust me to open up. Is that possible?
Be willing to take responsibility for your role in what went wrong in the relationship. This will help him remove his defenses and actually listen to you.
Your goal here is to avoid confrontation and instead work on resolutions to get you two back together. But realize that he may be unable to give you what you want. If the reason he wasn’t emotionally communicative in your relationship was that he wasn’t falling in love with you, there’s not much you can do to change that. In that case, this conversation will have to be closure so that you can move on.
Make sure you don’t dominate the conversation, particularly if you have a habit of doing all the talking. Ask how he feels about things. What’s been going through his mind since the breakup? Does he want to reconcile? What does he need from the relationship moving forward? You want to show that you’re listening so that he knows you will be a great partner in the future if you do get back together.
How to Get Him Back Step 6: Commit to a Better Relationship Together
Assuming you were successful in your plot to get him back, you want to make sure the two of you don’t end up in the same relationship rut you were in before. That means you need to air all your dirty laundry. Whatever issues bothered you, you need to address now so that the two of you can work to find a solution.
If you’ve been keeping secrets, now is the time to open up. Ask the same of him.
If you haven’t been honest about what bothers you in your relationship, this is your opportunity to tell him so that, hopefully, he can work to be a better partner to you. Likewise, ask him how you can improve as a girlfriend.
Successful and happy couples are those who keep the lines of communication open. They can discuss issues without getting defensive and they are willing to work on problems to remedy them.
I think there’s this misconception that if you love someone, that’s enough to keep a relationship going for decades. But studies show that it’s respect, not love, that makes for longevity in a relationship. If you respect your partner, you will be willing to make that continual effort to make them happy. You’ll do your best to be what they need.
But this commitment needs to come from both of you. If only you are willing to commit to having a better relationship, things aren’t going to work out. You need confidence that he, too, wants to make things better.
How does he plan to change his behavior in the future? What promises can he make? You may want to develop a game plan to help your relationship, like:
- We’ll have monthly check-ins on how we’re feeling about the relationship
- When we start to argue, we will take a five-minute cooldown before continuing
- We’ll try couple’s therapy
It may sound silly to have rules about how to manage your relationship but trust me: every relationship has rules, even if they’re unspoken ones.
Now that you’ve solidified your plan on how to get him back, you’ve arrived at one of two places:
- You got him back, and the two of you are working things out together
- You realized (or he did) that you aren’t meant to be together, and you’re moving on
In the first place, congratulations. Not every couple makes the effort to work things out. For serial monogamists, it’s often easier to just keep running from the same problems relationship after relationship without ever stopping to deal with the issues.
But since you’re looking for a long-term committed relationship, you’ve decided that you’re willing to work at making this relationship a success, even if it’s hard. And so is he. So it’s great that you’re on the same page.
Make sure that you check in on both his and your feelings about how things are going in the months and even years after the breakup. Sometimes couples are so relieved to get back together and make all sorts of promises about how they’ll be better to one another, but once the dust settles, it turns out that things don’t really change.
Reuniting isn’t a Band-Aid. It’s not a magic fix-it-all remedy that will cure your relationship of all its issues. Consider your relationship like a plant. You can’t water it once and expect it to thrive forever. It takes constant nurturing, along with sunlight and water, to keep it healthy and happy.
Your equivalent of sunshine and water is open communication and a willingness to be better for your partner.
If you fell into the second camp where things didn’t ultimately work out, congratulations to you as well. Because you’ve elected to move on past a relationship that was no longer serving you, you’re one step closer to finding The One. Rather than wasting your time with the wrong guy, you’ve freed yourself up so that Mr. Right can find you.
And in the meantime, being alone can help you figure out what you want in your next relationship, as well as how you can be a better partner. Learn from this last breakup. Your goal should be to be the most amazing girlfriend — and one day, wife — that you can be. That means being open to examining your flaws and working to improve them.
Relationships aren’t easy. But if you’re willing to commit to the amount of energy it requires to nurture one and fix what’s wrong, then you will have all the success in the world, sweet lady.
What’s your plan for how to get him back? Share in the comments below!
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