By Chris Seiter

Published on May 17th, 2023

Today I’d like to have an in-depth discussion on why I believe that getting an ex requires more patience than you would initially think.

So consider this my elite breakdown of patience. We’ll be talking about,

  • The big misconception people have about “getting an ex back”
  • How long the typical breakup recovery takes
  • Why our results tend to be a little faster than average
  • What vital steps our success stories are taking that is making a difference
  • My best tips for patience

A lot to talk about today so I’m just going to get right to it.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Understanding The Need For Patience

One of the biggest mistakes that I personally see clients make is having completely unrealistic expectations of how long it’s going to take to get an ex back.

I think most people get seduced by the unrealistic success stories and I’m certainly guilty of posting these.

You know the type:

15 days to get your ex back… 

12 days… 

7 days…

Sometimes people will watch an interview like the one I did with Nina.

(Listen to it below,)

Nina successfully navigated our program to reconcile with not one, but two of her exes. However, the process differed significantly for each. The very first ex she got back, all she really had to do was implement a no contact rule.

I don’t even think she made it 30 days in her no contact rule before her ex was contacting her and begging for her back.

That’s an amazing result, but it’s important to understand that, that result is the exception to the rule.

Ironically, Nina herself demonstrated this. While it took less than a month to win back her first ex, getting her second ex back required a much longer period of approximately five months.

The primary mistake I see people making is holding unrealistic expectations about how long it will take to see success. This lack of patience is a significant issue.

In my decade of experience in this field, I’ve observed a diminishing patience level, especially as we transition from the millennial generation to Generation Z.

Our society, with its constant demands for our attention – from our ever-present smartphones to an unending stream of notifications – is partly responsible for this trend.

Numerous studies have suggested that human attention spans are now shorter than those of goldfish.

Hence, patience becomes a precious commodity when it comes to winning back an ex. Many people give up prematurely, deterred by the length of the process.

This leads to the next crucial point:

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

What Is The Typical Duration Of Breakup Recovery?

I’ve mentioned this numerous times on my website, podcast, and YouTube videos: we’ve analyzed our program’s success stories – those who have successfully won their exes back – and calculated the average time it takes to get an ex back.

The average falls between five to seven months. To be precise, it’s 5.2 months, but a range of five to seven months provides a more comprehensive perspective.

Here’s the breakdown video in case you were interested,

And I thought it’d be kind of also fun to look at a few other outside resources.

I’ve been using a fascinating AI tool called Consensus, which is designed to search for evidence-based research papers. You can think of it as Google, but specifically for academic research. When I input the question, “How long does it take to get an ex back?” no results appeared.

There seems to be a complete lack of research on this specific topic. And so that kind of leads us to bootstrap it on our own.

Now obviously I’ve done research myself but me alone, I’m just a one man show.

I want other resources.

So I did a crazy thing.

I went to Reddit and I went to the subreddit ExNoContact, which has over 101,000 members. And I found an instance where someone literally asked the entire subreddit, how long did it take your ex to come back?

So then I went through that thread and I picked apart every single answer that was given. After sifting through the responses, I found ten distinct answers:

  1. 3 months
  2. 3 years
  3. 4 months
  4. 2 weeks
  5. 2 years
  6. 4 months
  7. 6 months
  8. 1 month
  9. 1.5 months
  10. 3 months

The average of these responses was 8.3 months, which is even longer than our program’s average. (yay us!)

Of course, this suggests that without outside help getting an ex back may demand more patience than initially thought.

However, this disparity raised another question: why are our program’s results slightly faster?

Why Are Our Numbers Faster?

Two reasons!

  1. First, the Reddit data set only contained 10 data points, and with a larger sample, I suspect the average would decrease somewhat, likely to around six or seven months.
  2. Second, we specialize in helping couples reconcile, so our clients are more likely to take steps that expedite the process, unlike the random Reddit users. But what specific steps are our successful clients taking that lead to quicker results?

What Vital Steps Are Our Success Stories Doing That Causes Them To Have Results Quicker?

For this one, five things!

  • Our version of no contact is a bit different.
  • We believe in the value ladder framework
  • We believe in implementing mirroring in the value ladder framework. “When they pull back, you pull back.” which allows for a more organic unfolding of situations.
  • We believe in integrating yourself in a community.
  • We also believe in having patience and getting to a place emotionally where you don’t want your ex back anymore

..sigh (here we go again) from the top!

Our Version Of No Contact Is A Bit Different

One key factor is our unique approach to the no-contact rule.

Typically, people view this rule as a way to manipulate their ex into missing them. When I first launched Ex Boyfriend Recovery back in 2012, I had a similar view. But over the years, my perspective has evolved, largely due to feedback from clients who’ve successfully used the no-contact rule.

The recurring theme was that they used this time to outgrow their ex. So now, we encourage our clients to focus on moving past their ex during this no-contact period.

Once they’ve accomplished that, we recommend that they adopt the Value Ladder framework

We Believe In The Value Ladder Framework

This concept has remained relatively unchanged since Ex Boyfriend Recovery’s inception.

value ladder

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

I often liken it to progressing through levels in a video game. You divide the potential interactions with your ex into phases:

  1. texting
  2. phone calls/FaceTime
  3. meetups
  4. romantic dates

And you can only advance to the next phase once you’ve built sufficient value in the current one, much like beating a level in a game.

Each subsequent level becomes slightly more challenging, but also increases your ex’s attraction as you ascend this theoretical ladder.

The Mirroring Mantra

Our unique twist to the Value Ladder concept involves implementing mirroring within the framework.

We encourage our clients to make the process feel organic and natural, which can be tricky when adhering to a structured framework. Hence, mirroring your ex’s behavior often results in a more natural progression.

Our mantra is “When they pull back, you pull back,” allowing your ex to influence the pace of the process.

Imagine you’re in the texting phase, things are progressing well, you’re building value, and then suddenly, your ex pulls back.

This is where patience becomes critical because we believe that you should also pull back when you sense your ex doing so.

This gives them time to settle. The problem we often see is that many people who join our program have tendencies of an anxious attachment style.

So, when their ex pulls back, it triggers their anxiety, leading them to overcorrect the situation, usually by pressing too hard.

A better approach would be to engage in mirroring their behavior instead.

When they pull back, you should also give them some space.

So yes, while it’s true that most of our clients are anxious, its also true that most of their exes are avoidant.

Avoidant people need space, something they often don’t get in a relationship.

This approach allows for more organic rapport building.

Integrating Yourself With A Community

We also believe in integrating yourself into a community.

This is perhaps the single most important thing that sets our clients apart from those on Reddit.

You might assume that Reddit, being a community, would be a supportive environment, but that’s not always the case. Reddit is typically more like a forum where people may not have much knowledge about your specific situation or be actively interested in learning more about it.

They often respond to a nameless Reddit bot in the corner.

On the other hand, our community provides you with the necessary tools not only to survive a breakup but also to thrive during it.

We offer our battle buddy program, where we connect you with someone in a similar situation.

I frequently host livestreams, and my wife and our coaches are always available to answer questions. Our moderators and other members provide accountability.

What Are Your Chances of Getting Your Ex Boyfriend Back?

Take the quiz

Ultimately, this creates an environment where you can not only vent but also grow during the breakup.

But honestly it’s to your benefit to just join A community (not necessarily ours.)

Getting To A Place Where You Are Ok Without Your Ex

Additionally, we believe in cultivating patience and reaching a point emotionally where you no longer desire to get back with your ex.

This brings us full circle.

One important lesson we learned during the no contact rule is to ensure that your focus is on outgrowing your ex.

However, we have also discovered that it’s crucial to emotionally reach a place where you are content without them. Check out this success story as it REALLY hammers this point home,

Unfortunately, this aspect is often overlooked or underestimated by people who may nod in agreement when hearing about it but fail to actually implement it.

They tend to underestimate the difficulty involved.

Thus, it is essential to have a great deal of patience if you want to successfully reconcile with your ex.

My Best Tips For Patience

I have put a lot of thought into this, and being a person who values science and research, as evident from my consistent internal polls and the Reddit example above, I came across a study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology while writing an article yesterday.

The study examined cognitive strategies that can help individuals overcome a breakup.

They conducted a study with 24 individuals who had recently ended their long-term relationships, testing three strategies on them.

  1. The first strategy involved negatively reappraising one’s ex. This meant focusing on their negative qualities, the hurtful actions, and the ways they mistreated the individual.
  2. The second strategy was a form of love reappraisal, where individuals accepted their feelings of love without judgment. This strategy also emphasized accepting the circumstances of the breakup, which can be challenging for people struggling with the end of a relationship. It goes beyond wanting to fix the relationship and involves being okay with the current situation—an aspect often overlooked in discussions.
  3. The third strategy was distraction, which aimed to divert attention to positive things unrelated to the ex.

The researchers monitored participants’ brain activity while they looked at pictures of their recent ex-partners and found that employing all three strategies together yielded the most effective results.

So, pretty basic so far, right?

Well, what stuck out to me was that not not all strategies were equally effective. I mean, they worked, sure, BUT not all of them worked to the same effectiveness level.

For example, the negative reappraisal strategy not only decreased emotional response but also reduced feelings of love toward the ex-partner. On the other hand, the distraction strategy improved overall well-being but had no impact on love for the ex.

So, employing both strategies in conjunction can have a combined effect.

In terms of developing patience after a breakup, my approach is to employ the kitchen sink approach.

But what does that look like?

Simple, do all three things.

  1. Negatively reappraise your ex
  2. Distract yourself
  3. Be ok with your circumstance

But the one thing that the researchers didn’t talk much about is being okay with your current circumstance.

And that is for me the most challenging part of being patient because no one talks about how to be okay with your current circumstance.

I think the only thing I would have to say about being okay with your current circumstance is you need to find something greater than your ex to live for.

Too often we get people coming into our program where their entire world revolves around their ex and a lot of our work is helping them find something else other than their ex that they’re just as passionate about, that they love just as much to start focusing on which actually has this interesting synergistic effect of the distraction strategy.

Because if you can find that thing, you also find a distraction.

And so for me the kitchen sink approach is kind of taking that cause and effect way of looking at these three strategies.

First enter a community, make sure that you’re talking about the way your ex treated you, get other people’s feedback, have those people make you realize that your ex does not deserve to be on this pedestal.

Second try to find something that will make you okay with your circumstance.

Specifically look for something that you care more about or just as much about as your ex and have that be your distraction so you can kind of kill the two birds with one stone which is being okay with your circumstance and also finding a distraction.

And if you can do those three things you can find that you can be as patient as you need to be before you potentially have the success that you’re hoping for.

What to Read Next

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 thought on “Getting Back With An Ex Requires Patience”

  1. Jenn

    May 23, 2023 at 9:10 am

    Long story sort of short but basically my ex, and I are going through or second break up.

    He broke up with a year and a half ago because he and I were going through a rough patch during the pandemic. He started thinking about his daughters mom, and how maybe he would be happy going back to her and spending time with his daughter. We had moved in together, but after we broke up, we went our separate ways. A few months later, he came back.

    I just found out that for the entire year that we have been back together he has actually still been with his daughters mom because, by committing to her, he gets extra time with his daughter. But he “didn’t want to lose” me, so he figured out a way to make it work to his advantage. He’s extremely avoidant, so he found a way to avoid having any uncomfortable conversations and got the best of both worlds.

    I’m heartbroken and I don’t know what I want in the future but right now I just want to know how I can get him back even if I decide to move on.