This is my complete guide on getting back with an ex years later.
In this in-depth guide you’ll learn:
- If it’s possible
- Our success stories who have done it
- Pop culture success stories who have done it
- The major challenges you’ll likely face
- What factors are present to have success years later
There’s a lot to cover today so let’s dive in.
Is It Possible To Get An Ex Back Years Later?
The number one question that people tend to ask when they’re wondering about this is, is it even possible?
And the answer is, yeah, 100% it is possible. But anything past seven months usually becomes exponentially more difficult.
We have found that our average success story takes anywhere between five to seven months before getting back together.
What’s interesting is that this number is based on people who have just come into our ecosystem.
So that doesn’t even account for the amount of time they’ve been trying to get their exes back before finding Ex-Boyfriend Recovery and starting our program.
Essentially, they could have easily been attempting to reconcile with their ex for three months before stumbling across our website and purchasing our coaching or programs to implement our approach to break-up recovery.
So the reality is, while it may take them seven months with us to get their exes back, the actual timeline might be more like 10 months.
Here’s the point: if you’re trying to get an ex back years later, we have found that it is incredibly difficult once you pass that seven-month mark. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible; it just means your odds decrease.
But I think the question here is a bit different because we’re examining the average success story when attempting to reconcile with an ex after being apart for years.
While we have observed success stories in this scenario, they have been relatively rare.
This alone indicates that, statistically speaking, timing DOES matter when it comes to getting back with an ex.
However, let’s first delve into a few real-life success stories of individuals who were separated from their exes for years before reuniting.
Success Stories Of Couples Who Reunited After Years Apart
It’s amusing because whenever I contemplated or planned to research this particular topic, my mind would invariably drift back to that classic movie, The Parent Trap.
Over the years, there have been multiple versions of the film, but the one that always lingers in my memory is the Lindsay Lohan rendition that I watched as a child in theaters.
In essence, these two twins meet at a summer camp and discover that they are siblings who were separated by their parents due to a bitter divorce. They concoct a plan to reunite their parents, who had been apart for 10 or 11 years.
So, in line with the Hollywood tradition, I thought it would be enjoyable to have some fun with this.
- I’m going to share with you one of the success stories that has emerged from our program, where someone managed to get their ex back after years apart.
- Additionally, I’ll provide some examples from pop culture featuring celebrities who have reconciled, as they are likely to be more recognizable names and can demonstrate what’s possible.
Bethany Success Story:
Let’s begin with the success story from Ex-Boyfriend Recovery, involving a woman named Bethany.
You’ve probably come across her name and seen her success story on our website or watched this video about it.
Bethany is known for her distinct pink hair, and her journey is particularly intriguing because she spent over three years attempting to win back her ex. She faced numerous challenges before finally reuniting with him.
If you want the full story just check out the video I attached above but to give you a brief overview,
- Her ex left her while she was pregnant
- Moved in with another woman
- They constantly argued.
Things progressively worsened before they started to improve, which explains why her success story took years to unfold.
So, that’s one success story, but now let’s move on to the pop culture examples, as those tend to be extremely fun.
Jennifer Lopez And Ben Affleck
One recent example that has gained a lot of attention is the rekindling of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s relationship.
They were actually engaged back in 2003 but postponed their wedding and eventually called it off in 2004.
Ben Affleck then moved on to Jennifer Garner, got married to her, and went through a divorce. However, in 2021, he found his way back to Jennifer Lopez, and they got engaged again in 2022.
A few months later, they tied the knot in Las Vegas, and as of the writing of this article, they are still together (with a big asterisk, of course).
Ben Stiller And Christine Taylor
Another interesting example involves Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor.
I’ve always associated Christine Taylor with one of Ben Stiller’s movies, Zoolander, where she played a quirky romantic interest.
They got married in 2000 but separated in 2017.
What’s intriguing is that they didn’t reconcile until after the pandemic, when circumstances forced them to spend time together in the same house.
They have children together, and it seems they rekindled their relationship from there.
So, the overarching point here is that it is indeed 100% possible to get back with an ex after years apart, but the significant asterisk I want to emphasize is that it becomes more challenging the more time you have apart.
Thus, I believe the focus of the conversation should shift toward understanding WHY it becomes more difficult.
The Challenges Of Getting An Ex Back After Years Apart
I believe there are three primary reasons.
- Both you and your ex have grown and changed during the post breakup period
- A higher likelihood of your ex being with someone else
- There’s no excitement of the unknown
Let’s take a moment to break down each of these hurdles.
You’ve Grown, They’ve Grown. You’ve Changed, They’ve Changed.
Firstly, both you and your ex have grown and changed during the post-breakup period.
Typically, when you’re talking about years of separation, it is common for both parties to move on.
While individuals with anxious attachment styles, make up a significant portion of our client base,
While it is common for them to hold on to breakups for a long period of time, usually if you’re talking in the years range, they move on to someone else. So most likely, you have moved on from your ex, and they have moved on from you.
This presents one of the primary challenges of getting back with an ex after years apart. Even if you haven’t moved on, your ex is likely to have done so. This is the natural progression of things and how relationships evolve.
I mean, technically your ex just needs to go through this cycle one time before they “move on,”
And with that in mind we move to our next challenge.
There’s A High Likelihood That Your Ex Is In A New Relationship
Secondly, there is a higher likelihood that your ex may be in a new relationship with someone else.
It’s not just about them moving on and getting over the breakup; it’s also about them forming a relationship with another person, which may not necessarily be a rebound.
While I don’t want to delve into a rebound discussion (I’ve done that plenty over the years,)
It’s important to consider that if your ex has been with someone for more than six months, it becomes less likely that the new relationship is a rebound.
At that point that person may become a more “long-term” partner.
This is why our approach to post-breakup recovery emphasizes the need to genuinely let go of your ex.
Our research studies have shown that letting go is a crucial aspect if you want to increase your chances of getting your ex back.
There’s No Excitement Of The Unknown
The third reason, which contributes to the challenges of reuniting with an ex after years apart, is the absence of excitement and the unknown.
Your ex has already dated you, and they believe they know everything there is to know about you.
As a result, there’s no mystery left.
In previous discussions, I have referred to this as the balance between reconciling stability with a sense of mystery.
What I mean by that is that human beings have an inherent contradiction in what we desire in a partner.
We seek someone who is stable, yet also capable of providing spontaneity, adventure, and mystery.
These two aspects are often not mutually exclusive.
Typically, if someone is extremely spontaneous and adventurous, they might lack the ability to provide stability.
On the other hand, someone who is excessively stable may struggle to offer spontaneity. Hence, there is a constant attempt to strike a balance or perform a balancing act.
However, in the case of reuniting with an ex after years apart, the excitement of the unknown is absent. From what I have observed over the years, and please note that this is not a generalization of all relationships, if a relationship begins with a heavy emphasis on spontaneity and mystery, as it progresses and settles into a sense of complacency, it can become viewed as potentially boring.
Now that we understand these significant challenges of getting back with an ex after years apart, the question that arises is: what factors need to be present for success in this situation?
What Are The Consistent Factors That Need To Be Present For Success Years Later?
I think there’s an interesting cause and effect dynamic that needs to occur here.
Think of it like a consistent factor formula,
GIGS (leads to) Phantom Ex (leads to) Reconciliation
Let’s start first with the grass is greener syndrome.
Basically your ex needs to go through a phase of the grass is greener syndrome.
After all, what is a breakup if not someone admitting that they think they can find someone better than you?
Sometimes they may be right, and sometimes they may be wrong.
Is that during the three years she was trying to get her ex back,
- her ex moved on to someone else
- most likely causing him to experience the grass is greener syndrome.
- most likely causing him to paint her as the phantom ex
It’s intriguing how, in this process, a comparison is formed.
I’ve talked a little about this phenomenon in my article on the “ungettable girl.”
But essentially, at some point, your ex will start comparing their time with the new person they are with to the memories they had with you.
If they find themselves reminiscing more about the nostalgic times with you rather than fully enjoying their current experience, they may end up idealizing you as the phantom ex.
This concept is significant for several reasons, particularly because our internal polls indicate that the majority of our clients believe their exes exhibit avoidant tendencies.
I discuss this extensively on the podcast, in articles, and on my YouTube channel, with a staggering percentage of around 70%.
If your ex falls into the avoidant category, it’s important to understand that they often succumb to the idea of the avoidant phantom ex.
This phantom ex represents the one that got away, the person they cannot have due to the mistakes they made.
For avoidants, this type of relationship is actually preferable. They desire to be with someone they can’t have, as it ensures they can maintain their independence while still experiencing romantic emotions.
What often happens over the years is that your ex paints you as the phantom ex, the one that got away. However, they can usually only view you in this light if they have gone through the grass is greener syndrome and moved on to someone else first. They come to the realization that they actually had it pretty good with you.
Furthermore, if you have started dating other people, even if you’re not in a committed relationship, the fear of loss or the perception that you have moved on intensifies the persona of the phantom ex.
Citing from Free To Attach,
Without the danger of reciprocity (so particularly after an ex has moved on), liberation from the fear of engulfment finally gives free reign to an avoidant’s latent romanticism. An ex being truly unavailable may even produce a perverse enjoyment – they are at liberty to fully miss and think wistfully of them while it also confirms their self-belief people won’t stick around them (sometimes in relationships they may imagine their partner with another to trigger this)
Returning to Bethany’s situation, I believe she handled this aspect exceptionally well.
Years had passed, three to be exact, and her ex moved in with someone else.
She actively began dating other people, and it was only after her ex painted her as the one that got away that he came back.
In my opinion, the most crucial factors that need to occur after seven months or more are:
- your ex experiencing the grass is greener syndrome
- viewing you as an avoidant phantom ex
- your involvement in dating others to amplify this process.
And thus we have the perfect cocktail of success. One that was probably also followed by all the other pop culture examples I gave above.