“I think we should breakup.”
The words echoed in her ears. She stood there shell shocked for a moment. But then she shook her head as if she was clearing an “Etch-A-Sketch” and held out her hand to shake his.
“Okay. If that’s what you want. It’s been a good couple of years. Thanks for the memories. I wish you the best.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just turn off our feelings like a light switch? If, as soon as your ex boyfriend told you he didn’t want to be with you anymore, your brain were just able to convince you,
“Oh well, plenty of other fish in the sea. He’s a nice guy, but I choose not to love him anymore since he doesn’t love me.”
That would be great, but unfortunately, real life doesn’t work like that. Unrequited love is a staple of so many romantic comedy movies. Life wouldn’t be nearly as interesting or dramatic if we all could just turn our feelings on and off with the flip of a switch. As appealing as that would be, it would make our lives rather one dimensional, and after some time, I suspect we as humans would begin to feel rather empty and listless.
This is a rather wide-ranging topic – after all, there are plenty of circumstances in which you could still be in love with your ex boyfriend. So let’s start with the most likely reason why you are here…
I Want Him Back
A breakup is a loss. It may look overly dramatic in those aforementioned romantic comedies, but when a relationship ends, you have to mourn that loss. It is the death of a relationship and it is important and healthy to grieve.
But it is also important to examine the relationship.
Maybe you stumbled upon Ex Boyfriend Recovery in the direct aftermath of your breakup, desperate to get him back.
“I love him so much it hurts.”
If that is the case, I encourage you to work the program and give it some time.
Women tend to face the reality of a breakup right away, but after they grieve they move on more completely in the end. Whereas men feel confident in their decision at first, and then come to regret it later on.
So, if you are reading this in the immediate aftermath of your breakup, give it some time before deciding, concretely, that you want to embark on the Ex Boyfriend Recovery journey, and try to get him back.
It is not an easy task.
And it takes a lot of dedication.
So, when you’re ready, start off the Ex Recovery Program with the No Contact rule. Focus on bettering yourself and cut ties with your ex. Take time to reflect on the relationship, and how it ended.
Ask yourself if you really want him back, or if there are other reasons. For example, you could ask yourself,
“Am I afraid to be alone?”
“Do I just not want to date again?”
Am I just afraid I’ll never find someone better?”
Also, consider the relationship in its entirety. Ask yourself if the relationship was healthy, and if it really made you happy, or if it was just comfortable.
Right after the breakup is when a lot of women tend to stumble upon the site, but I urge you to cut off ties with your ex for some No Contact and get into some self love and reflecting before committing fully to the Ex Boyfriend Recovery problem.
But, what if some time has passed? I’m talking a couple weeks, I’ll discuss longer periods of time later in this article. Let’s say a few weeks have passed and you’ve looked at your ex and the relationship with a careful eye and you’ve still decided a relationship with him is what you want. In that case, there are tons of articles and resources on this site that can help you. I’m not going to go too in depth with that because a lot of this information is readily available, and the other specific instances in this article may be more helpful for less general situations.
The Ex Boyfriend Recovery Approach:
First thing’s first, tackle No Contact and focus on becoming a better you. Once that time is up, initiate first contact using one of the techniques outlined here on the site.
Don’t fret if he doesn’t respond to your first attempt. Build rapport via text, phone call, and then finally, initiate meetups. Once you get a meetup, keep things light and happy. Remind your ex of what he lost in subtle ways.
If you need clarification…
Continue meeting up, becoming more and more emotionally intimate (NO SEX) until your ex brings up the idea of getting back together, or you subtly bring it up in a round-about way. Boom. There is the outline of the ex boyfriend recovery process in a nutshell.
So now let’s move on to some more specific instances and what to do about it.
He Has A New Girlfriend
If your ex has a new girlfriend but you still love him, the Being There method is going to be your best friend.
How long ago did the two of you break up?
If it was recent, it is likely that this girl is a rebound, and you shouldn’t worry too much. I know that is easier said than done, but know that it is not out of the norm for a guy to get a rebound, whether physical or emotional, after a breakup.
If it’s been a while, or he and the girl have been together for over… let’s say… six months, she may not be a rebound, or she may be rebound that turned into something deeper. I once dated my “rebound” for years. If this is the case, it may be a tough road ahead as you try to win him back, but it has been done before, and if you love him, it’s worth it to at least try.
The Ex Boyfriend Recovery Approach:
The process starts off the same, No Contact, followed by building rapport over text.
The thing that is important to keep in mind is that men have a harder time allowing themselves to be vulnerable than women do.
I have a theory that this is why they jump into relationships faster after a breakup – women make vulnerability a bit more comfortable. If you can remain in a position where he trusts and confides in you, you have power. The more he does this with you the less he does it with her. Likewise, the closer that makes you to having a more emotionally intimate role in his life.
The other important component of the Being There method is making the other woman insecure. If he’s talking to and hanging out with you, he’s doing less of that with her. Andyou bet your ass she’s going to notice. The more insecure she is, the more likely she’ll lash out at him. This will make her seem possessive and make him go
“gee, I really miss my ex girlfriend…”
You Have A New Boyfriend
I’m going to start off here by saying that it is totally normal to think about your ex when entering a new relationship. Simply put, you are replacing him in your life.
New boyfriend takes over the mantle old boyfriend.
So, it’s normal to compare them.
You are one half of a relationship equation. You’ve been used to one person and one relationship style, and now you have to adjust to a new one.
Even though Angel left Buffy and Sunnydale at the end of season 3, his memory still haunted Buffy well into season 4. In a scene where she and Willow are on patrol in one of Sunnydale’s many graveyards, they have this exchange in which Buffy is excited about her new relationship with Riley, but still has Angel on her mind:
Buffy: It’s just, different, you know? A picnic. First of all, daylight — kind of a new venue, Buffywise. And the best part — he said he would bring all the food, so all I have to do was to show up and eat. Those are two things I’m really good at.
Willow: So he’s nice?
Buffy: Very, very.
Willow: And there’s sparkage?
Buffy: Yeah. He’s— have you seen his arms? Those are good arms to have. I really like him. I do.
Buffy: I don’t know. I really like being around him, you know? And I think he cares about me.. but.. I just.. feel like something’s missing.
Willow: He’s not making you miserable?
Buffy: Exactly. Riley seems so solid. Like he wouldn’t cause me heartache.
Willow: (Fake worry) Get out. Get out while there’s still time.
Buffy: I know…I have to get away from that bad boy thing. There’s no good there. Seeing Angel in LA.. even for five minutes.. hello to the pain.
Willow: The pain is not a friend.
Buffy: But I can’t help thinking — isn’t that where the fire comes from? Can a nice, safe relationship be that intense? I know it’s nuts, but…part of me believes that real love and passion have to go hand in hand with pain and fighting.
It’s also normal to harbor feelings for your ex boyfriend.
After all, you were a large part of each other’s lives for a time.
In fact, I still care for most of my ex’s on some level, but I would not consider myself to be in love with any of them.
If your feelings for your ex go past the occasional comparison, and you find yourself thinking you were better off in your old relationship, you may be in a rebound relationship – with your new guy. If this is the case, you have the responsibility to end things with your new guy as quickly as possible.
You’ve been hurt and you know what it feels like. Don’t make it more painful than it needs to be for him. And don’t hold on to him as a backup plan as you work things out with your ex. End it so that you maintain integrity and begin your next relationship (be it with your ex or not) feeling okay about how your last relationship ended.
I’ve seen the above happen, and I feel badly for all parties. In fact, my ex told me he was still in love with me a week after I went on quite possibly the best first date I’ve ever been on. I chose the new guy and was upfront with my ex. I think this is why it is so important to take the time to heal after a breakup. I know it may be tempting to seek solace in another person, and you may feel lonely, but in the long run, you will be happier if you fully give yourself the opportunity to heal.
So with all of that being said, once you are happily single and have done some reflecting about if you want to be with your ex again, you can embark on the ex boyfriend recovery journey guilt free.
I’m Still In Love After Being Broken Up For A Long Time
I’ve never had this happen to me, but it sounds bittersweet and terribly romantic. Sometimes, two people can love each other very much, but things that are outside of their control keep them from being together. Perhaps it was distance, a job, or other obligations. But if years have passed since the breakup, and you are still in love with your ex, I say go for it.
If it’s been a while, you may have fallen out of touch. The first thing to do is to establish first contact. It should be pretty easy to follow the basic ex boyfriend recovery steps from there. In fact, it may be easier, since you really will be starting fresh.
About six months ago, I got into contact with an old ex I hadn’t talked to in years. I didn’t want him back, but I thought of him and shot him a facebook message with something funny that reminded me of him. We ended up getting coffee and catching up, and it was very pleasant.
However, if you have maintained contact, and you’re still friends, you will want to start all the way at the beginning from the No Contact period. This can be a little harder if you work together or go to school together, or have some other thing that keeps you in contact. If this is the case, do the best you can with a limited No Contact period, and try building positive rapport from there.
One of my favorite articles of Chris’ is when he talks about the timelines for getting your ex back. Believe it or not, getting your ex back fast generally means your relationship will dissolve again at some point in the future, because neither of you really did any work to change and grow. If it’s been a while and you’re still in love with your ex boyfriend, both of you have probably changed, and hopefully for the better. Only time will tell if you are still compatible.
He Doesn’t Love Me Anymore
Remember when we were talking about unrequited love?
In my time in the Ex Recovery Facebook group, I have seen so many guys said
“I don’t love you anymore.”
to their ex’s. I’ve also seen them come crawling back to their ex girlfriends more times than I can count.
I think a lot of guys say this because it’s an easy out.
You can’t argue with it.
If he says he doesn’t love you anymore, that’s it, relationship over. You can’t make him.
My guess is it’s a defense mechanism – a way to shut down emotional conversations, and emotions in general. Most guys say some iteration of this, and maybe it’s true in some cases, but I see it happen time and time again where the guy says this and then they get back together, so I’d take it with a grain of salt for a while (not forever, though!).
If your ex boyfriend claims not to love you anymore, the first step is to give him space and make him face the consequences of his actions by going full No Contact and disappearing from his life. With that time away from you, it’s possible that he will begin to miss you and realize how much he took you for granted. You depend on No Contact a lot in this circumstance.
Then, once the No Contact period is up, you can move on with developing rapport. If time passes and he still insists through meetups and frequent conversations that he does not love you, however, it may be time to start considering moving on without moving on.
Wrapping This Up
Speaking of moving on without moving on, something that we didn’t cover in the above sections that I think is worth mentioning is still being in love with your ex boyfriend when you know that the relationship won’t work, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s unhealthy, or there is distance, or he’s abusive, or you’re simply just not compatible.
But those outside factors can’t change the way you feel about him.
Moving on without moving on is the idea that even though you are still in love with your ex, you are trying to move on with your life, knowing that with time and self love, you will get over him eventually.
The bottom line is, you’re going to be okay no matter what. And luckily, you found a group of experts that are here to help you figure out what your next step is by starting a conversation about your breakup in the comments below.
Let me know a little bit about your breakup and what you’ve done so far. Then tell me what you THINK you should do moving forward. We’ll get you on the right track, whether you decide you want your ex back or not.