What to do right after the breakup

So one of the first things you should keep in mind when trying to get back with your ex is that you really need to go through that full breakup and pain and recovery process before you can really restore whatever you had before.

Because if you just go scampering back to your ex right after the breakup has occurred, it’s really self-defeating and it’s not going to end up in the result that you’re looking for. It’s really important to figure out the state of your relationship when it ended and to figure out exactly why the breakup occurred in the first place.

If it happened for reasons that can be understood and forgiven — perhaps you guys had too many arguments about little things — there is some potential there to be able to get back together and work those things out to a state where they don’t happen again. But if it’s more serious issues — perhaps there was drugs or addictions involved or somebody cheated, on the partner or some other event that’s really not the typical breakup event — then it may be much harder for things to go back to a good state. And frankly, it may not be in your best interest to get back together in such cases.

So you want to make a judgment call about what is the exact reason you want to get back together. Is it because you can’t stand to live without this person and you’re basically trying to eliminate the immediate pain, which may not be the best outcome for you in the long run? Or is it because you feel like there is still potential for this relationship and that you feel that you can both grow and thrive as human beings and to make something good out of this situation — maybe not at this moment, but later on if you do get back together?

Of course when you’re in a very down and depressed state, it’s very very difficult to make a good evaluation of what the actual situation is. Therefore it’s really important for you to be able to find a trusted friend our family member who is able to see the situation more objectively and to tell you whether or not it’s a good idea even to try to get back with your ex, and to give you a more sound judgment than you yourself can provide at the moment, and also to be a sounding board where you can offer your own opinions and evaluations and to see if they hold up under reasonable logic. In other words, get feedback from someone who is not in the distressed emotional state that you are in currently.

Next you should really get your feedback and advice with your friends who know you very well on just the type of person your ex is. And you should see if this is somebody who you really do want to get back together with, and whom your friends approve of because that is very important in the overall scheme of things. Your friends are able to see things that you yourself are not, because you are too close to the situation. You want to think about all the reasons your ex attracted you in the first place and their personality traits and their quirks and to see what kind of person your ex is overall, and to make a really honest assessment of whether or not your ex was helping your life and making your life better, instead of hurting you in some way or hindering you or holding you back as a person.

And because you are now broken up, this is the perfect time to make those kind of judgments, because you really don’t want to be with someone just because you don’t want to be lonely or because you can’t stand to be alone or not in a relationship. It’s really a good time — even though it’s painful — to make an evaluation of why you got into this relationship in the first place and whether or not this person was good for you during the relationship that you had, and whether or not you want to get back into that same situation again.

You really want to be happy with yourself and who you are as a person before you really get committed into a relationship with someone else, hoping that this person fills in the holes in your self-esteem or self-worth, and that this person is the thing that makes you happy in life, and that you will have no happiness without this person. That is a very unhealthy place to be, and you want to make sure that you are a whole person and that you are happy and satisfied with your own life before you’re able to truly be in a healthy and giving relationship with someone else that’s not based on any sort of codependency.

Alright, so assuming that you were in a reasonably good place and you were happy with yourself, and this person in your judgment is a good person and that your relationship can be restored and wasn’t broken beyond repair by the events of the break-up, then you need to really take a step back as you approach your goal of getting this person back into your life and into a new relationship with you.

You don’t want to drive them away and make them think that you’re crazy or obsessed because you won’t leave them alone. You never want to get in a state where you’re calling and begging every day for them to take you back. This is probably the worst thing you can do and the most counter-intuitive thing ever, because you think that they would take mercy or pity on you by taking you back when you let them know how much pain you’re in… but this kind of thing doesn’t work in real life because it is simply not attractive to anyone, and relationships are built upon that foundation of attraction to each other. And that’s not talking about physical attraction based on your looks, but rather about the attraction that brought you two together in the first place. They were probably attracted to you because you seemed to be a self-sufficient and happy and confident person, and you didn’t exhibit any sort of neediness or desperation or codependency at the beginning, which you would definitely now be showing if you went the route of begging for them to take you back.

You don’t really want to be with someone anyway because they feel guilty and they feel sorry for you. That’s not the right reason for anyone to be with another person, so you really need to cool it on all the contact and text messaging and phone calls you make to the to your ex. The more you do these things right after the breakup, the more you will drive this person farther and farther away from you. It will make them want to have nothing to do with you because even talking with you makes them feel not only sad and perhaps annoyed, but also guilty now for having broken up with you and putting you in this pain. No one wants to be with someone else who makes them feel sad and annoyed and guilty, so they’ll just try to avoid you even more, which is counterproductive to your goal of getting back together with them.

So what you need to do is to give them some space. This doesn’t mean you have to cut off contact completely, but you need to really back off on all those desperation messages begging for them to take you back into their life.

You may be curious about how they’re doing, so go ahead and ask them how they’re doing or if anything new has happened in terms of mutual people you may know and their family, but just keep it light and don’t get into that topic of your relationship and your breakup. But really, you should try to keep as much distance as is possible for you to do emotionally during this difficult time.

If you’re able to do so, and you have a strong enough emotional state, then the really best thing to do is not contact them at all. If you can make that determination to cut off contact completely for a little time after the break-up — maybe for a couple months — then it may sound counterproductive, but this is actually one of the best things you can do if you want to get this person back in a relationship with you.

And this period of time where you’re not in contact with your ex is a great time for you to just work on own your stuff and to improve your state in every facet of your life, including your physical health, your social life, your work, and school.

This is also a great time for you to reflect on your own life and your lifestyle and to maybe try things you haven’t tried before that you never had the chance to try because you were in that relationship. For example, you might want to go and try out things on your bucket list, like going skydiving or scuba diving or traveling or picking up a new hobby such as learning a new musical instrument which you’ve always wanted to learn. So this is a great time for self-exploration and to do the things which you were not able to do perhaps because you were in a relationship.

What will really help you as you try to get your ex back is to let people know and let everyone see that you’re having fun — that you have a life and you’re out there enjoying yourself. In this day and age, you can easily check up on someone with Facebook or Instagram, etc, and see exactly what anyone is doing at any given moment in time. So if your ex sees pictures of you or videos of you out there laughing and having fun and enjoying yourself, this is a great chance and a possibility for them to see you in the same light they saw you initially when they first met you, when they first developed that attraction for you. That’ll let them see you the way you were when you both first met, and they’ll be able to evaluate you from that perspective again and possibly start feeling that stirring of attraction again. If you are always calling and texting and stalking them and messaging them on social media, they definitely will not feel any attraction toward that type of behavior.

And this is not to say you’re trying to run some kind of jealously plotline where you’re trying to make them jealous by showing how much fun you can have without that person. This is not that kind of angle — you really want to be out there having fun for real with your friends and with people that care about you, and you want to have a genuine smile and really be doing this for yourself. But that will actually make your ex recall you were someone they could once have fun with, and they may start to want to remember those feelings and have fun with you again.

Now, when you’re out there meeting people and having fun, don’t go crazy with it and don’t try to get together with people who aren’t good for you, or maybe get into some sort of rebound relationship. Because if you really do want to get back together with your ex, then you need to have a long term strategy in mind. Don’t just do things to help your immediate emotional state and make you feel better in the moment but feel terrible later on, such as getting drunk every night or going out and having a one-night stand, or something that will really make you feel a lot worse than before.

You may also be wondering what to do if your ex starts contacting you frequently during all this. Once you’ve taken time to really work on yourself and to stabilize yourself to a point of recovery where you can feel somewhat normal and grounded again, then maybe it’s okay to open up full lines of communication again. Otherwise it’s possible that your ex texting you or contacting you can have a really detrimental effect on your stability and your recovery at this point… so it may be better just to be courteous but to keep your distance in your communications with this person.

No matter who initiated it — whether you started contacting frequently or your ex started contacting you frequently — you really don’t want to get into a pattern of you both communicating every day but not really resolving anything… not really moving toward a position of getting back together, but just simply contacting each other for no other reason than to lessen the pain on both sides. That’s probably the worst place you can be, because it will only drag out the whole breakup process and make it less and less likely for you two to get back together. And if you do get back together, it will be a very unhealthy situation because you got back together out of sadness and guilt rather than mutual attraction from a more healthy position.

Ironically, you have to be okay or accepting of at least of the possibility that you might not get back together with your ex. That is the only way you will have any possibility of getting back together with your ex. It sounds counter-intuitive I know, but the more you care about getting back together and making that your number one priority in your life and being desperate for it, the less chance you will have of it actually happening.

So as you approach this whole situation you must understand your current state — you have already broken up so you are in the worst-case scenario already! So there is no nowhere to go but up… you have a possibility of getting back together with them, but don’t make it your ultimate goal at all costs because that will only simply drive them away.

You want to get to a point where you haven’t contacted your ex for a long enough time where they will start feeling curious about you to see how you’re doing and maybe a little bit concerned, and because you haven’t totally pushed them away and driven them away (and made them feel crazy) then they will be a little bit more open to communicating with you. And that is when things can start to happen again and start looking up.

No Contact Rule

Let’s say a breakup has just happened and you realize after the fact that you really want to be with this person after all. Maybe you were the one who got dumped or maybe you were the dumper, but you realized that it was a mistake and this person is actually someone you want to get back together with. If you are able to do so, one of the most effective ways to reconnect with your ex and to restore your relationship to the way it was before — or perhaps even stronger — is to negotiate from a position of strength.

And you can do this by carrying out what’s known as the “no contact rule” — which means that you state your intentions as to what you want from your ex moving into the future, and then you completely walk away and leave them alone to make up their mind as to whether they want to take you up on your offer or not. You do not ever try to keep contacting them or to convince them that getting back together with you is the right thing to do.

Now this is extremely extremely difficult for most people, so there are alternative strategies you can take if you think you are not emotionally able to handle this sort of a disciplined non-communication with somebody.

But to reiterate, the strategy here it is you stating in some manner that you want to get back together with that person, and saying that they’ve made a mistake in dumping you (or that you made a mistake in dumping them) and saying that you want to get back together with them romantically. And I stress that as a very important point — you want to make it clear you want to be romantically involved again, so that you will not accept the oh-so-very common notion that the other person might have of “why don’t you just be friends for a while and see where things go.”

Because letting them be friends with you and to contact you and to talk to you whenever they feel like, but not committing to be with you again is really a losing proposition and a position of weakness for you. In that scenario they will be able to check in on you and to make sure you’re doing okay, and talk to you whenever they feel like and just to really assuage their guilt about not being with you anymore. But they will not be in any position of commitment where they have to stay with you and truly take care of you. They’ll be free to see other people, go out and do things whenever they want, and not be bound by any time commitments to you. Therefore it is really you giving away something for nothing and it will weaken your overall goal of trying to get with them in a romantic sense.

Think of the word “friend-zoned” and you’ll see exactly what I mean. A lot of guys get into the trap of being friendzoned by a girl that they like, which means the they’ll be able to spend time with that girl and to communicate with her and talk to her, but they will never be able to get past that hurdle and to become a potential romantic partner, just because they are simply spending too much time with that girl in a platonic sense. And you don’t want to let that happen to you — whether you are a guy or a girl — after a breakup has happened.

For example, for many guys after they broken up with a girl, they still care about her and they want to make sure she’s doing okay, that she’s safe and not harming herself. And so being friends with that girl after the breakup is sort of a cheap way for them to check in on the girl and make sure that she’s safe. And now they don’t have to feel guilty because they’re doing their part to still take care of her in a sense after the breakup has happened, yet they are not committed to her in any way shape or form. So they will actually be free to even pursue other girls while this is going on. And this is not the sort of position you want to find yourself in.

So to reiterate, you want to tell that person, “Hey look, I want to get back together with you in a romantic sense,” and lay it all out there, and tell them it’s that or nothing. And that you don’t want to be friends — you don’t even want to talk to that person or text that person or be in any sort of communication at all with that person — unless they change their mind. So you tell them, “Look, don’t call me or contact me unless you want to get back together,” and then leave it at that and simply walk away from that interaction, and walk away from all future interactions with this person. That way you are now negotiating from a position of strength, because if they do want to talk to you — if they do feel lonely, if they miss you and they want to talk to you — then they have to make the commitment of reopening those negotiations of getting back together in a romantic relationship.

So for them to contact you, no matter for what reason — if they miss you or whatnot — they have to now agree to the terms that getting back together romantically is now on the table once again. Therefore they will think very carefully before they contact you again, and if they do, you both know the game is back on.

But like I said before, this is very very difficult emotionally, especially if you are in a very bad state right now. If you’re very sad, if you’re crying every day, then this is something that is probably not doable for you… it’s going to be very tempting for you to just want to contact them just to hear their voice.

So you must be a very strong person emotionally — you must be someone who is able to set a plan and be disciplined and stick to it. You should examine yourself and what kind of person you are.

Look, if you are someone who works out and you have a nice physique, if you are a great student and you have good grades, if you work hard and you’re climbing the ladder of success at your work… then you know what it takes to reach that kind of success. The hard work and discipline it takes is not an exception here in this situation either. You will have to have that kind of fortitude and mental toughness and discipline and emotional steadfastness in order to state your goals clearly and then to wait for the other person to respond — to put the ball in their court and let them make the next play.

And waiting patiently for them to do so is very difficult, and you’ll be tempted to contact them just to see what they think and if they’re considering your offer or not. But of course doing so will weaken your position and make it even less likely for them to take you seriously, when you said you want to get back together with them or nothing.

You must really mean what you say because the other person may come to a certain point and make an offer that they just want to be friends with you, and they may leave you an email or a text message saying you can contact each other as long as you guys remain just friends. And you’ll be very tempted to take them up on that offer just because it will let you spend time with them and you can hear their voice again, and be next to them again, but really you must be committed to doing exactly what you say — which is meaning exactly what you said: to basically never see them again and never interact with them again unless they agree to your terms.

You must be willing to put that on the line and to really walk away from the relationship forever if they don’t agree to your terms. Ironically that will make it more likely for them to want to come back to you and pursue you it will actually make them regret not being with you. So this is an all or nothing play. Consider your situation and see if this is something that you are able to pull off. Because this strategy does work very well, as long as you don’t crumble in the middle of it.

Never ever listen to a broken heart

Probably the worst advice you can follow after breaking up with someone is to listen to your own heart. Because by definition when your heart is broken, it is no longer functioning correctly. Therefore doesn’t it make sense that any decision you do make with a broken heart will probably turn out to be nonsensical and counterproductive?

Here’s a great article explaining just exactly why you should NOT do what FEELS to be the right thing to do, when you’re deep in the depths of breakup misery. Her are just some of the wrong thoughts:

1. Our ex was the best, the one, the only one: Our mind will try to remind us of our ex’s best qualities. Images of them at their best will pop into our head unbidden. However, this unbalanced, unrealistic, and idealized portrayal of the person who broke our heart will only make the pain we feel worse.

2. The relationship made us happy all the time. No it didn’t no relationship does. There were plenty of frustrating, annoying, or hurtful moments too and we should recall those as well.

3. If we just text them or contact them we will feel better. The urge to text, message, call, or email will be very strong. But doing those things will only make us feel more desperate and needy, and it will hurt our self-esteem.

4. Talking about the breakup with all our friends will ease our pain. No, it won’t. Talking about emotionally painful events is natural and even useful if we do it in a problem-solving way or if we do it to get emotional validation. Just going over the same details over and over again will only make us feel worse.

You cannot trust your mind when your heart is broken. Here’s why: