When my boyfriend broke up with me, one of my first thoughts was “I have to move out of this apartment as soon as possible.” I knew immediately that I wanted him back, and I knew that the best way to do that would be to create a lot of distance. After all, he couldn’t miss me when I was so available. I was already planning on doing the No Contact Rule before I knew what it even was. I knew that my ex didn’t understand the reality of the choice he had made, and I knew the only way to make him understand was to make him face the repercussions of his decision.
Over the course of our relationship, my ex and I had become complacent with one another. We got lazy and stopped trying. We changed in many ways over our time together, some good, and others not so good.
I mention this because a huge part of getting your ex boyfriend back is proving that you have changed. Like my ex and I, it is likely that you became comfortable in your relationship and things fell by the wayside. Maybe you started nagging a bit more frequently, maybe you stopped hanging out with your friends. Maybe you stopped going to the gym, or didn’t feel the need to look as nice. It’s natural for those things to happen.
But if you want your ex back, you’re going to have to show that you’ve changed. It is the first step in re-attracting him back to you. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.
Step One: No Contact
Ex Boyfriend Recovery is not just about getting your ex back, or getting over your ex. It is also about your own personal recovery. Being broken up with is really hard, and it causes your self confidence to take a beating. That is why it is absolutely essential that the first step of getting your ex back is to get you to fall back in love with yourself and realize how amazing you are again.
No Contact works to attract your ex back, we’ve discussed that. It gives him the time to miss you, and it gives him the space to think through his actions. But it helps you, too, and that is what I want to focus on here.
If you’ve been broken up with, you’ve been deeply hurt. I know you may want to rush through the process to get your ex back, but it is absolutely imperative that you take the time to yourself to heal. I’d say that for your first week of No Contact, you should just do a bunch of things that make you happy (but please don’t be self destructive). Get your nails done. Drink wine and take bubble baths. Watch hours of crap TV and eat bad food. Allow yourself to do things that make you feel better, if not temporarily.
But after that week is up, commit yourself to doing No Contact the right way. I’d say the biggest mistake I see women make in our facebook group is that they don’t approach No Contact with the right mentality. Instead of looking at is as a golden opportunity to do some reflection and self-work, they constantly check their phone and count down the days.
THIS IS NOT HELPFUL.
Instead, make a list of things you want to accomplish. Maybe you always wanted to learn to play the violin, or maybe you want to start writing. Whatever the things are that you’ve always wanted to do, do them for YOU. You have the time now. Take a dance class, buy a pottery wheel to experiment on, start reading Socrates, I don’t know. Do things that will bring you joy in this time of mourning.
Step Two: The Holy Trinity
While you are in No Contact and doing things that will make you happy, you should also be tackling things that will make you more appealing to your ex. While in No Contact, focus on the three aspects of the Holy Trinity: Health, Wealth, and Relationships.
When it comes to health, we all slip a bit as we get comfortable in our relationships. I’m not just talking about going to the gym, either! I’m talking about overall physical appearance. I want to mention that exercise isn’t just good for you physically, it’s good for you mentally as well. It releases endorphins in your brain that literally make you happier. So don’t just hit the gym because it will make you look better. It will make you feel better, too.
Other things you can tackle in the health column cover all physical things – maybe get a new wardrobe if yours is getting a bit old. Go get your teeth whitened, go get your eyebrows done or get eyelash or hair extensions. These things will show that you are taking care of your appearance, and they’ll also make you feel great.
Wealth is a pretty simple one: Put extra time in at work if a promotion is on the table. Or if you are unhappy at your current job, work to get another one that will make you happier. Take up a side gig. These things will not only bring more money in, they will also distract you from the pain of losing your ex, and they will make you feel more valuable.
Relationships are an important thing to tend to during this No Contact period. I’m not necessarily talking about other men, though it is important that you try dating (more on that in a minute). But what is important is spending time with those who love and care about you.
I’d wager a guess that your friendships suffered as a result of your relationship, am I right? Take the time to spend quality time with your friends – and don’t just spend the whole time crying over your ex boyfriend. Do something fun. Take a pole dancing class together! In addition to spending time with friends, spend some with your family, too (though maybe nix the pole dancing and do a tame game night instead). These people love you, and sitting alone in your room is not going to help you feel better. Spending time with people who love you and make you happy will. There are all sorts of love in this word. Romantic love is only one percentage of it.
Now, I mentioned dating. I’m not saying you need to jump back out there, looking for your next boyfriend. Not at all. What I am saying is that going out there and trying dating again will help build your confidence back up. I was on a dating app for months before I ever swiped. But once I did, my self confidence blossomed again with the amount of high caliber men who were vying for a date with me. Dating also can show you that there are other quality options out there. Your ex is not the end of the line. Dating during No Contact can also work in the frame of jealousy.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll actually end up enjoying yourself!
Step Three: Social Media
Back in ancient times (aka the 1990’s) when the internet was just a dream that no human could comprehend, it was a lot harder to keep tabs on our ex’s. We had to pick up the phone to call them, send snail mail, or show up at their home or work to catch them.
There have been lots of articles written about how social media has made it harder for us to move on from our ex’s. The temptation to snoop is always there, and it’s so EASY.
However, as detrimental as social media can be to the moving on process, it can also be extremely helpful when you are attempting to get your ex back. It takes strength, because you should snoop on his profile barely at all, but you want to beef up your profile so that he is snooping on a daily basis.
If you’ve done No Contact correctly, you’re going to have lots of social media-worthy things to post. Post that photo of your pole dancing class on instagram, or post a facebook status about the hilarious combo of cards you put down in your family’s game of Cards Against Humanity.
Pinpoint all the changes he wanted you to make, and that you wanted to make, and use social media to accentuate those parts of yourself.
Sometimes, I actually choose the “view as” function on my facebook so that I can see what my profile looks like from my ex’s eyes, just to make sure it is as UG as possible.
Social media can also be used to fuel the jealousy angle. Check in to places with male friends. Take a photo of a great meal that you’re having that just so happens to have a guy’s beer and arms in the background (never mind that the arms are, in actuality, your brother’s).
Social media can be tough to use post-break up, and if you are moving on, it may be better to delete your guy entirely. But if you’re attempting to get him back, it can be a great tool to show him how much you’ve changed.
Step Four: Interactions
The final way that you can show your ex how much you’ve changed is thorough your interactions with him. Actions speak louder than words. You’ve changed yourself, genuinely during No Contact (not just having appeared to change), you’ve showed those changes on social media. Now you’re in contact with your guy.
There is a famous quote that goes “the best apology is changed behavior.” That applies here to. The best way to show someone you’ve changed is to show them.
So say you guys are texting and he stops responding. Old you may have started gnatting him asking why he’s ignoring you. But not the new you. Instead, you curb that impulse, and pretend this his lack of response isn’t bothering you. He’ll notice. Trust me.
This goes for the physical stuff too, of course. The first time you and your ex meet up, he’ll see those physical changes you’ve been working on. And you can talk about it, too. Don’t do overboard, obviously, but feel free to tell him about all the cool stuff you’ve been doing.
If he’s anything like the ex’s on the facebook group, he’ll be surprised by all you’ve done, and then he’ll feel badly about himself, because he hasn’t changed at all. This may cause him to feel like he’s slipped out of your league, which could potentially make him want to chase after you even more.
It Starts With You
I was relieved when I finally moved out of the house I shared with my ex. I was sad, but I was also motivated. I had the thought
“this is where the real work begins.”
I knew that I had to work on myself. For myself. If it attracted my ex back, great. But if not, I’d be a better person for the next lucky guy, and more importantly, for myself.
Change starts with you. You can’t control what your ex or anybody else does, but you can control what you do. The change starts with you but only if you take those first steps to embrace No Contact. Give yourself even a fraction of the mental energy that you are giving your ex.
Probably my favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer ever is the finale of season 2. It begins with the following voiceover, which is think it pretty applicable here:
“There’s moments in your life that make you, that set the course of who you’re gonna be. Sometimes they’re little, subtle moments. Sometimes they’re not. I’ll show you what I mean” – Whistler, (Becoming: Part 1).
Your break up can make or break you. Don’t let your heartbreak define you. Instead, use it as fuel to become a better version of yourself. No matter what may happen in the future with your ex, giving time to care for yourself is always a worthwhile use of your time.