By EBR Team Member: Ashley

When I cook from a recipe, I am always really careful to read the entire recipe before I start.

Why?

Well, back in college I would try and cook from a recipe, I would start and then at the end of the recipe there would be some bit of information that I needed to earlier that would result in a messed up cake, cheesecake that sank in at the middle, or brownies that had the consistency of cardboard.

I could have had my entire college paid for if I had just had the foresight to start a Pinterest fail website. It would be full of pictures like this.

Now, I’m a pretty patient person, but it took me a long time to establish the habit of reading all the way to the end before jumping in.

That’s what I am suggesting you do with this article because there is a lot of information that goes into getting your ex back. Put effort into making it all the way to the end before you even start to make a plan or take action. Because you might end up doing something that works against you rather than for you.

Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure.

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Things to Consider

This article is going to help you figure out what actions you can take to bring your ex back to the table, so to speak. It can’t guarantee that he does though.

I know. That’s not what you want to hear.

Well, would you rather me tell you what you want to hear? Or should I tell you how to make your chances of success increase exponentially?

That’s why reading through the entirety of this article is increasingly important, too.

Fight that urge to skip over parts or just hear what you want to hear.

There is one more “rule” I want to touch on before we jump into the hard stuff.

Stay positive!

I know that sounds silly, like some mantra to keep you from going off the rails. But, there is a weird art to all of this, and being negative doesn’t help anyone.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean to just believe that things are going to get better on their own. That is not what I am getting at by any means. This won’t be easy, but it is possible.

So, read the whole thing… and STAY POSITIVE.

Think you can do that?

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Why Do You Want Him Back?

First things, very few people know why they do the things they do. Most people act on impulse without even thinking about it. It takes an effort to understand what drives your actions.

Making that effort will help keep you from sabotaging yourself.

  • Do you Miss the Companionship?
  • Are You Hoping He’s Grown Up Enough to Be in a Relationship?
  • Are You Hoping You’ve Grown Up Enough to Be in a Relationship?
  • Have You Seen Him Change, and That Makes Him More Attractive?
  • Have Circumstances Changed?

Understanding WHY you want him back will help you determine if you want him or if you just miss being in a relationship. If that is the case, then maybe it’s just time for you start dating again. That’s for you to determine though.

Prepare for the Possibilities

You’d be surprised how many people play out different scenarios in their heads and talk themselves out of even trying. They are literally building the mountains they want to get over and then deciding it’s not worth the chance of getting hurt.

Remember, staying positive is super important in the quest to get your ex, but being realistic is just as important.

A year is a long time. And neither you or I can guarantee that things will go as planned. So, considering the different possible outcomes will help keep your feet on the ground rather than setting unreachable goals.

You need to take into consideration all of the things that can effect your chances of getting your ex back.

He May Have Already Moved On With His Life

This will be one of the more difficult possibilities to process. Maybe that’s why I decided to get it out of the way first. But just because it is difficult, that doesn’t mean skip it.

Like I said earlier, in order to make your chances more likely, you need to read ALL of this… not just the parts you like.

I mean, just because you want to get back together, that doesn’t mean that he does. He may have found a way to accept the breakup and move forward with his life, toward a future that didn’t include you. That’s why the goal of this program is to remind him why a life with you in it will add value to his life rather than feel like he’s taking two steps back.

But, you need to at least consider the possibility that he won’t respond the way you want and come up with a next step, or a direction you want to take things if that happens.

So, later when we talk about reaching out and not getting a response then reaching out again a few weeks later, this mental preparedness will come in handy.

He May Not Feel The Same Way

Here’s a similar situation. You may reach out and establish contact and decide to be a part of each others’ lives again. But you need to take into account the fact that he may just want to keep things friendly, not romantic. In which case, the balls int your court.

So, before you even make that first step to make contact with your ex, you need to decide how you are going to handle that situation.

There is a reason for this is the same reason it’s a good idea for people to have emergency escape plans in case of a fire… or a bad date. We tend to panic under pressure and put ourselves in even more compromising situations. Whereas, if you already have the next step in mind in case your attempt to relight an old flame goes down in flames, you can avoid getting stuck in a situation you don’t want to be in.

For example, a girlfriend of kine found herself in this exact situation and, because she didn’t figure out what she wanted to do beforehand, wound up stuck in a friends-with-benefits situation that she didn’t want to be in.

Both of You May Be Different People Now

I’m sure you’ve heard that time changes things. Well, people mature. Think about it. You aren’t the same person you were a year ago. Hopefully, you have evolved into a better version of yourself. I’m assuming that you have had some difficulties dealing with the breakup, or even troubles that had nothing to do with the breakup. Hopefully, you have used those moments to build character rather than let them overwhelm you.

You’d be surprised how many women go through this difficulty and become stronger and better versions of themselves. Yet, they forget that their ex has had a year’s worth of life experiences too. Which means he’s grown as a person, for better or worse.

So, don’t expect him to be the same person he was when you broke up.

I’ve actually been dealing with this recently with one of my friends. Her ex insists that they belong together and should give the relationship another go. The thing is, he talks to her and treats her exactly like he did when they were together. He acts confused when she doesn’t respond the way he expects her to.

Now, do you think that’s good groundwork for a relationship?

I don’t.

Getting back to your ex after being apart more than a year is basically like an entirely new relationship with a completely different person.

You have to get to know the person they’ve become and court them all over again.

Yeah, that’s right… court. The fun part of dating. But we’ll get into that in a little bit.

He’s Probably Been With Other People

You can’t expect him to not have at least tried to move on with his life over the past year. It’s likely that he’s dated or slept with other people. I know that that may hurt your feelings, but you don’t get you hold tat against him. You too weren’t together. And you’ve had the opportunity to date just like he has. If you didn’t take it then that was your call. I have had women come to me angry because their ex’s life didn’t just freeze without them. But that is unrealistic. They were angry that he had had relations with other women. You have to decide what is more important, your hurt feelings or getting your ex back.

Holding on to grudges is a sure fire guarantee that you will not be successful in getting your ex back.

It’s up to you.

He May Even Be Dating Someone Now

If you guys have been out of contact, it is altogether possible that he is seeing someone right now. It is important that you take this into consideration and decide how you want to react if he is. This keeps it from catching you completely off-guard and without a plan.

I actually had an ex of mine reach out recently and basically tell me everything I would have loved to hear years ago.

“I made a huge mistake. I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life making it up to you.”

However, even though we are friends he didn’t take a moment to even ask if I was seeing someone before he did all this. Basically, he wound up saying he was really embarrassed about his timing, but all he wants for me is for me to be happy. I can’t think of a better way he could have handled aside from maybe asking if I was seeing someone BEFORE he poured his heart out.

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Taking Action

Everyone always says something along the lines of…

“Alright, I’ve thought about it as much as I possibly can. Is there something I can actually do? I feel like I’m not actually doing much.”

And I understand their frustration. No Contact often feels like a lot of inaction.

But it isn’t. There are things you can do during that time to make re-establishing contact with your ex a little more likely to catch his interest.

That would be to create something that will capture his attention.

You can do this by learning to live with a purpose, and by promoting growth in your own life. When I say live with a passion, I mean find something you care about, a cause or an overall goal for your life. Finding a purpose that drives your actions in like rolling down a hill. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop.

This extra little push will make it easy to stay positive, AND it will keep it from seeming like you are stuck in the same place you were when the two of you split up.

I don’t know about you, but having a partner who just coasts through life is not the most attractive quality there is. It makes it hard to envision a future together.

But someone who’s driven and is self-motivated, that’s more attractive than you can possibly imagine. And when someone you used to picture a future with seems to be moving forward without you… that’s terrifying.

So, If you haven’t done No Contact, start.

If you have, but you haven’t made any strides in personal growth, then take a week or two to at least find a direction and make moves in that direction before you move forward with the rest of these steps.

Before We You Take Action There are a Few Thing You Should Know.

Keep all contact friendly and not flirty. You want to create an environment that is laid back and easy to carry on a conversation. If you bring an over-sexualized presence to the table, then he won’t have time to think about getting back together. It will end up being all about getting it on. I mean, yeah, you may have had a great relationship in the bedroom when you were together before. But you have to think about getting back together as building an entirely new relationship.

Like I pointed out earlier, time changes things, and people. The two of you aren’t the same people anymore. So, you’re basically two entirely different people and you have to remember that going in and basically re-attract him all over again.

Work on active listening.

A lot of the time, even in casual conversation, people spend the entire conversation thinking about what they are going to say next.

Take it from someone who deals with occasional overwhelming social anxiety, you can go through an entire interaction and walk away without remembering a single thing that was said just because your nerves get the better of you.

Initial Contact

You want to keep this first interaction indirect. So, sticks to texts or snap chats. Email is too formal. And in person or on the phone doesn’t give you the chance to think about what you are going to say before you say it.

If you need some help, check out the Texting Bible. It is full of information that could help you if you aren’t sure what to say or how to approach things.

Just remember to keep it friendly, not flirty. Re-establishing a connection comes before re-establishing the romance.

And be sure to send one text at a time. You don’t want to bombard him with texts. That means don’t keep sending texts until he answers. Because then, the answer you get definitely won’t be the one you want. Not only do you come off looking desperate, but you put your ex on the defensive. He won’t be open to ANY further communication with you, let alone getting back together.

Establishing contact with someone who is sure or doesn’t want to be in contact is like fishing. You put the bait out there and you wait until he takes it.

If a few weeks pass you can send him ONE more text and then wait for a response again. If you go without a response for a whole week, you can send ONE more in a last attempt to reach out. To keep with the fishing analogy, we can call this “recasting the line.”

However, after the third time reaching out without so much as a nibble, it’s time to move on to new waters. I’m not saying it won’t happen eventually. I’m just saying that it might not be a good time to do this with him.

I would restart a 45 day No Contact and keep on improving your life. I’d maybe even try dating other people.

Sometimes it takes other people longer to get to a place where they can reconnect with an ex, especially if the breakup was tough on them. Or perhaps he’s dating someone and is trying to be respectful. Either way, he’s just not in the same place as you.

But if you restart No Contact and he decides to reach out, you can pick up right where you left off, at Follow-Up Contact.

Follow-Up Contact

You still want to keep it indirect with texting or Snapchat. You can even advance to phone calls if you want. The key is to still keep it friendly and not flirty.

You want to get a steady back and forth going where there is a nice one-to-one ratio with the texts. Once you get a conversation going, you will be tempted to keep chatting until you run out of things to say.

Don’t do that! You want to catch the conversation at a high point when you realize “This is going great!” and end on that high note.

Find an acceptable reason to end the conversation and excuse yourself. Don’t just leave him hanging or be awkward about it.

It took me a couple tries to master this one because I have this strange ability to make EVERYTHING awkward.

I found that excusing yourself to answer a phone call from a boss or a parent is a great way to do this. Or you can always excuse yourself because you made plans with someone. Your best bet is to stick as close to the truth as possible and keep it simple. He doesn’t need to know the details. A little mystery is perfect when you are trying to increase his interest.

When you do excuse yourself, always say goodbye with some form of, “We should do this again sometime,” or “We can continue this another time.”

This leaves the line of communication open and ending on a high note will leave him with a positive view of the whole interaction. This mean’s he’ll most likely look forward to more interactions.

After you get through at least five of these indirect conversations, you can move on to setting up some in-person interaction.

Establishing Direct Contact

At the beginning, you want to keep all of your interactions non-threatening. So, make sure it’s in what I call “neutral territory.” Think of it as easing into things, like you would with a pool.

No one likes being pushed into anything they don’t want to be in, whether it’s a pool or a relationship. Even more so with a phone in their pocket… but that’s mostly just pools.

So, ask him to join you at a coffee shop or to join you taking a walk at the park. This allows it to be one-on-one without being intimate or giving anyone the upper hand. Remember, we’re KEEPING IT FRIENDLY.

When texting or talking on the phone, he can’t see you pacing back and forth in your apartment or biting your nails. But you can’t do all of that in person. In addition to trying to sell him on all of the improvements you’ve made in life, trying not to keep things friendly, and trying to appear completely relaxed, you also will be worried that you’ll say the wrong thing.

It’s enough to make anyone a little nervous. If you feel this way at any point, excuse yourself to go to the restroom and take the opportunity to take slow deep breaths and remind yourself that no matter what happens, you have made yourself into the person you are today. Be your own backup and remind yourself how awesome you are. You can handle anything.

Now get back out there.

Why is is so important that you keep yourself calm and natural?

Well, when you are nervous and high-strung, you can’t pay attention to what anyone else is doing because you are so worried about what you are doing.

You are faced with several opportunities with a friendly in-person meet up with an ex that you aren’t able to have during a text or phone conversation.

You can see his physical reactions, such as folded arms or leaning forward. Folding arms or crossing legs is a defensive motion that manifests when someone is uncomfortable. It can be an unconscious attempt to put a barrier between the two of you or to symbolically protect his more sensitive areas, his heart or his… man-parts. However, leaning forward can be an unconscious attempt to bridge a gap or bring the two of you closer. Or it could just mean that he is engaged in the conversation and is comfortable with you. Both gestures are usually made without being given thought. It takes a very gifted manipulator to do these things on purpose without being obvious about it.

You can also pick up on aversions to certain topics that you wouldn’t pick up on without being in-person. In texts, or on the phone, you can easily switch the subject from one topic to another and never return. However, if you did this in person, your uncomfortableness will be obvious to the person you are talking to and they will likely redirect back to it because your uncomfortableness made it memorable. They may even point it out.

So, paying attention, not only to what he says but his reactions to you and himself will give you clues to his state of mind and will let you know when it’s time to ease up or press forward.

The Transition into Intimacy

Remember the key is to keep things comfortable and friendly for a minimum of three or four friend-dates. Then you can up your game a little bit. Invite him over for dinner, or a movie night. Make an excuse to touch his arm or be familiar with him.Enjoy spending time with him. Continue keeping things friendly yet familiar. You don’t want to be overt or obvious with your intentions.

As my nephew used to say,

“You gotta play it cool when you like someone, man.”

After, you’ve made it through one or two friendly yet familiar hang seshes with your ex. He should be feeling pretty comfortable and so should you.

However, if he’s into you, or into getting back together, he’ll start to mirror your advances. For example, if you started taking the opportunity to reach out and touch his arm when you laugh at one of his jokes or wipe something off his shoulder for him, he will start to find reasons to break that no-touching barrier that most exes have.

Quick Recap Before You Get Started

A few last minute tips before you take on the Quest for the Ex.

  1. You are basically starting from scratch. Before you re-establish the relationship, you have to accept that this is basically a new relationship between two new people. Both of you have changed. Don’t expect him to be the same. But, be prepared just in case he expects that from you. Introduce him to who you are now, by not regressing into old patterns.
  2. You need to let go of any grudges or anger you have been holding onto BEFORE you take on the Quest for your Ex. Yet, you need to also be prepared for the possibility that he may not have let go of his. IF you truly want him back, then you will need to listen to his concerns if he needs to put them out there. You can’t force him to get over it. You can only rise to the occasion and be that better you that’s grown up over the last year. Don’t let him bait you with problems from the past. Simply try to understand where he’s coming from and explain that you think that you’ve both grown and that you can get past it together if he’s willing to try. Be forgiving and understanding. There is one thing you don’t want to let get in your way and that is your pride.
  3. There are plenty of reasons you might have for getting back with an Ex, but I cannot advise that you get back with someone who was abusive mentally or physically. One this front I will take the plenty of fish in the sea stance and remind you that there are literally tens of millions of other men out there. The likelihood that he may have changed is far outweighed by the chance that there is someone else who will respect you and treat you right.
  4. And the last tip I will leave you with today before you hop off on your quest is that there will be moments where you find yourself face-to-face with a circumstance and you don’t know what to do or how to handle it. In those moments, I want you to remember that we have an entire team of ExRecovery Pros available to help you sort ANYTHING out or answer ANY question you might have.

There is even a Private Facebook Page available to the Ladies working the ExBoyfriendRecoveryProgram that allows you access to us pretty much any time, night or day. And even if one of us isn’t online right then, you will find yourself surrounded by almost 800 women in various stages of their own programs who understand what you are going through. That’s the perk of having team members and a community of like-minded women that span the globe, instant access to a HUGE support group. And before you ask, it’s private, only you and other member’s of the group can see it.

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10 thoughts on “Getting An Ex Boyfriend Back After Years Apart”

  1. Avatar

    Caroline

    May 10, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    Hello I find this very interesting,
    I’d like some help though.

    I’ve followed these steps, but the problem is that we are far away now. He doesn’t live where I live anymore, he is 6000 miles away and planning to stay there one more year.

    We’ve been talking for 3 months, quite a lot of video calls, texting, both initiating around twice a week each. Recently it started to get a bit colder I don’t know why. He used to send hearts and wish sweet dreams now it’s just a bit more cold but still nice and sweet.

    He had a girlfriend for 2 years but they broke up and we started talking because I initiated, it all went perfectly. Now I’m thinking that I could tell him how I feel, there is no plan to meet up anytime soon since the virus is around and he doesn’t even live where I live. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, I don’t know if letting him know I miss him will pull him away.

    Im sure if we met it would all be great and we’d instantly reconnect but since we are apart it’s very difficult. What is your advice? Thank

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      May 20, 2020 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Caroline, I would suggest that you keep texting and talking on the phone, get some facetime/ skype calls in there so he can see you. And then when you are able to travel to visit each other be sure to use that as having some extremely interesting times together, do things you have never done before or things you used to do when you were together. Make him invest time in talking with you is going to make it easier to re connect when you meet up

  2. Avatar

    Inna

    December 27, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Hi! I and my Date have a ca. 1,5 year no contact. We know each other for a long time, and had romantic things going on back then, but we’re never in a official relationship because I was too clingy.
    I reached out to him and we talk with each other for 3,5 months now, no flirt. He is very friendly and always answers. Sometimes he reached out to me and Text something but most of the time I beginn to text him.
    I have asked him back then in September this year, if he wants to go for coffee with me. He have said that he is to tired from work. I feel like I’m in the friendzone.
    Maybe it would have been better to first try to get him to phone calls before ask him to meet. Our last contact was on Christmas, where I send him greetings in fb and he send me back. What should I do? Phone calls? Walk away?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 29, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Inna, so you need to start texting or messaging more so that conversation is flowing more naturally not just a small message for holidays etc. You need to get a platform of texting before you move on to phone calls

  3. Avatar

    Vicky

    September 3, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Hi,

    Me and my ex had a very turbulent relationship. Things ended very badly but after about a year of no contact whatsoever he contacted me to apologies however made it clear that his only intention was to clear the air and he did not wish to take things further than that. We have both been in relationships since the breakup which was now 4 years ago, however are now both single. He recently got back in contact with me. Initially it seemed as if he just wanted to catch up however we are now texting everyday and have been doing so for over a month and he has expressed regret about what happened between us however blows hot and cold. I am happy we have reconnected and would like to see how thing progress however I am unsure what he wants and what his intentions are whether he sees us as friends or if he could see himself wanting more. I have considered asking him, however I feel it is too soon to do so as we have spent so many years apart. I don’t know what to do as I don’t want to get too attached to him and develop feelings if he does not see it developing into anything more. I do not see myself being friends with him as he is someone who I have always cared about and I know I would not be able to put these feeling aside and be ‘just friends’ I feel I would always hope for something more. How should I handle the situation? I have tried to put some distance between us to give myself time to think however if I do not reply to him he will text me again.

    Vicky
    x

  4. Avatar

    Debbie

    June 22, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Hello

    I am in the most painful situation I’ve ever been in. I knew my ex as a friend for years before we dated. I have abandonment issues which I’m now getting help for but after a fantastic relationship I destroyed it because of these issues. We were together over a year and split 8 months ago. He knew I had issues and wanted to stay friends but my issues got worse and I pushed him away by accusing him of stuff until last week he snapped and had me arrested for allegedly stalking him, even though we have BOTH been in contact with each other.
    As I said, I am now getting help and sorting my Life out but I really miss him. Do you think I have a chance in the future of sorting things out with him?

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 23, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      you won’t be able to move on, if you keep holding on to him.. If he reached that point that he said you’re stalking him, you should cut contact and move on.

  5. Avatar

    Anon

    June 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Hi!
    I used to comment a few months ago. My ex and I had broken up before, and almost got back together but circumstances were difficult. He took it badly, started drinking again and got into legal trouble. I stopped talking to him and decided to try to move on, even though I wanted my family together (we have a daughter. She’s a year and a half now!)

    I’ve dated around a bit. I’ve been on several dates and even almost got into a relationship with one guy but backed out. I just didn’t feel like any of them were right. I’ve been focusing on myself and my daughter and our life has been pretty great! I love my job, I love my friends and have made new ones. She is doing wonderful and is so smart and gorgeous! But I find myself still thinking about my ex. If he has changed for the better, I do think it could work. The thing is, I haven’t talked to him in 6 months. I blocked his number, blocked him on facebook. I had been told he changed his number to get a hold of me but he never called or anything. So I have no way to contact him other than email or facebook.

    There have been little signs that he has tried to at least keep tabs on me. I don’t want to think it’s because he missed me, maybe he just wanted to see how our daughter was doing. His family members have friended me on Facebook (neither of us had Facebook when we were together. I created one almost out of spite I guess when we broke up) Other things too.

    I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do to reach out. But I do still love him, even if just as the father of my child. I do miss what we had when things were good. I guess I am just looking for another opinion. Has it been too long?

    1. Avatar

      Anon

      June 21, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      Yes, I was afraid of trying I guess. It would only work if he has changed for the better but I couldn’t expect that of him. I was afraid trying would make it seem like I needed to prove myself to him…but he’s the one who would need to prove himself to me. I just want there to be a chance for us, I guess. I still love him. I might reach out just to see where he’s at…I’ve heard that he’s wanted to reach out too but was nervous about how I’d react. Maybe we could be friendly for our daughter and move from there if I felt like it was right

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      June 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I think it’s for the wrong reason, wanting someone to change is not bad especially if it’s for the other person’s well being but it’s different when that’s your reason for trying to get someone back. Because he should be the one making the effort to prove to you that he changed, not you trying to see if he really changed. It’s ok to rekindle the connection for your child, to see her father again but be more cautious when it comes to getting into a relationship with again.