No one saw it coming, said absolutely nobody who has ever actually seen the end of a relationship. TV shows and movies love to show the dramatic break-up, when one partner walks in on the other in bed with someone else, leading to a heated confrontation and loudly-proclaimed promises that it’s over forever and ever. In real life, of course, relationships usually go out with a whimper, not a bang. Things deteriorate slowly but steadily for a long time.
Even if something so Hollywood as barging in on infidelity does actually happen, it’s rarely a total shock: if this was a serious relationship, you knew things weren’t great and that your partner might be looking elsewhere. Bottom line, this was coming, like death at the end of a long, terminal illness, and in some cases, it’s almost a mercy when it’s finally over.
But then you regret it. You start to miss seeing her all the time, you remember the smell of her hair or the way she dressed or the silly little things that used to obsess her, you long for things to just go back to the way they used to be. You wonder whether breaking up was a mistake. And sometimes, very often in fact, you decide that you want to know how to get your ex girlfriend back.
Alright, hold up. Read that last paragraph again, because it has a very important feature. And that is, every single sentence in it describes a totally normal part of the natural breakup process – except the last one. No matter what happened or how much it sucked at the end, you’re grieving when it’s over and you want it back. Everyone experiences that, but not everyone goes back to an ex. So take some introspective me-time and figure out whether you really want her back, or you’re just upset.
Why Getting Your Ex Back Can Be Wise
Subject to that caveat, however, getting back with your ex can be a solid decision for a number of reasons. And the first one is that looking for a new girlfriend sucks. Like, industrial Hoover-level SUCKS. At exactly the time when you’re feeling low and unlikable (that’s normal too), you’re faced with the need to be confident and strong in order to attract other women. Some guys may even experience a nagging sense of guilt as they do this, a part of them still feeling like they already have a girlfriend and don’t need to be hitting on anyone.
And even if you manage to get past all of those additional challenges in what is already a difficult game to play, you won’t be happy dating anyone new for awhile for the simple reason that you’re used to your partner knowing you, and this new person doesn’t yet. That takes time, and during that time, you just try shutting up that annoying voice in your head telling you that you’re wasting your time with a pretender and you know whom you should be with.
By contrast, your ex knows you. And that doesn’t just mean she knows how to talk to you or how your sense of humor works. It means she knows your flaws and weaknesses, and, for a time at least, she was willing and able to put up with them. There’s every likelihood that a new girlfriend, after you’ve invested a considerable amount of physical and emotional resources into a relationship with her, will ultimately run screaming once she sees your less attractive qualities.
It’s also important to consider that this works both ways, giving you a useful advantage in any effort to get back with your ex: you know her, too. You know her interests, her hangups, her passions, and her turnoffs. You know what to say to her, better than probably anyone else. You also have an intimate past with her that creates a sense of comfort when you’re talking to her; you don’t have to hold back with her the way you would with others, because you lost that habit a long time ago. In many cases, rekindling an old flame is a lot easier than rubbing some sticks together and trying to build a new fire.
Most Effective Strategy To Get Her Back
Alright, so the real question here is exactly how to get your ex girlfriend back. And this is one area where your advantage in having a history with her comes into play, because the first thing you need to do is look at the past. The relationship may be over now, but there’s something that drew her to you at one time. If you’re like most guys, you probably even asked her once or twice while you were together, “What is it that you find attractive about me?”
Whatever she said then is valuable intelligence now. Did she like your jokes? Strike up a conversation and tell her a few more. Did she appreciate that you play tennis, just like her? Invite her to hit the court again, “as friends”. Your mutual love of Polynesian-African fusion cuisine? Well, there’s this new restaurant that just opened up…you get the idea.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to how to win a girl back, though, is not to come off as needy or desperate. This can be difficult, because – make no mistake – she’s watching for it. You know how you’ve been bummed out since you called it quits, and wondering whether she feels the same way? Don’t fool yourself, the same thing has been happening to her. Any time you talk to her or try to spend time with her, you run the risk of severely undermining yourself by making her think, “I knew it. He can’t live without me.”
This does more than give her a moment of satisfaction that you may or may not want her to have. Desperation is one of the most unattractive qualities a man can display in an interaction with any woman; let it show to your ex, and you can pretty much kiss your chances goodbye. The way to avoid giving off this deadly vibe is to behave like you’re fine, and not dwelling on what was. When you’re talking to her, never bring up the old relationship, and for the love of God, don’t ask if she’s seeing someone new. You don’t care (especially if you do!).
The time may come during one of these conversations when she up and asks you how you’re doing after the break-up. This is your moment, champ. I don’t care if just last night you drank enough vodka to bring low the entire Russian army and passed out on the floor in a witch’s brew of your own tears, drool, and puke. Your answer is to smile, nod confidently, and say, “It’s tough, but I’m okay.” That’s it. You need the “it’s tough” in there because you don’t want to insult her by saying that losing her didn’t matter. But you can’t admit to any greater hardship than that.
Relationships happen, and eventually, they end. It’s part of life. But the next step isn’t necessarily to “forget about the past”, “put yourself out there”, and “don’t look back”, among all the other canned advice you’ll get from popular wisdom (which usually isn’t all that wise anyway). You were with this girl for a reason, and sometimes, when it doesn’t work out on the first try, it’s best not to give up but to start thinking about how to win the girl back.
If you think the deck is somehow stacked against you in this, don’t. Couples break up and get back together all the time – sometimes more than once. It’s practically inevitable, in fact. When you see those elderly couples sitting together in the park, and they talk about how they’ve been together for decades, don’t go thinking it was all peaches and cream that entire time. There were times they were ready to split, and very likely they did at least once. But they worked it out, and whether a lifetime partner to take into your old age is something you want or not, you can work it out too.
You got her once; go out there and get her again.