In this guide we are going to do a deep dive into if you should get back with your ex.
In fact, if you stick around until the end of this massive post you’re going to learn.
- If it’s a good idea to get back with your ex
- If getting back with an ex ever actually works
- How to know if you should get back together with an ex
- How long you should be waiting to get your ex back
- And when to give up on trying to get them back.
Let’s start at the top.
Is It A Good Idea To Get Back With Your Ex?
Determining if it’s a good idea to get back with your ex is always a tricky business.
Most of the time, if you ask your friends and family for advice on this, they’ll probably convince you that getting back with your ex is the worst thing ever. They’re coming from a different place and them talking down at you as if you should “just know it’s a bad idea” can come across as condescending and can leave you feeling shellshocked.
I’m not going to be one of those people today. I’m going to have a frank discussion about whether getting back with an ex is a good idea
In my opinion the answer lies in understanding regret and other seemingly minuscule factors that often get swept under the rug.
I always tell my clients that there’s nothing worse than a missed opportunity. If you feel like you’re going to go through the rest of your life regretting the fact that you didn’t try to get your ex back then I’m of the mindset that it might be worth a try.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should get your ex back.
In fact, I think most of the time people make the decision to try to get back with an ex without understanding what is actually entailed in the process.
So, while I think it’s easy to get caught up in daydreams and powerful moments of nostalgia it’s also important to be realistic about how hard of a process getting an ex back actually is.
For example, if you think success is going to come overnight you have another thing coming.
A study I conducted of our success stories in 2018 indicated that our average success story sees success after 3.5 months and this is counting AFTER a no contact rule has been implemented which means the real timeframe is closer to 5 months.
Getting an ex back successfully takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Also, the work doesn’t stop once you get them back. Our research has suggested that half of the people who get an ex back end up breaking up again.
And there are some cases where we don’t recommend even trying to get an ex back.
Now, while it seems like I’m being very negative about getting an ex back I want to assure you that I’m not. I’ve been doing this for ten years and without a doubt one of the biggest mistakes I see people making is coming into the process with the wool over their eyes.
They refuse to acknowledge the ugly truth that there are no guarantees and that results aren’t going to come easy.
Nevertheless, despite all of difficulty that comes with getting an ex back I personally think it is a good idea to try if you know you’re going to regret it down the road.
So, let’s move on and talk about if getting an ex back actually works.
Does Getting Back With An Ex Ever Work
So, how can you tell if getting your ex back will actually work?
Really there are five questions that you should be answering to tell that getting back together with your ex will actually work, unlike the relationship you had before breaking up.
- Are you in an on again/ off again situation?
- Are you overcome with loneliness?
- Is your ex open to change?
- How much time has passed?
- Is there a better option out there for you?
Let’s take an in-depth look at each of these questions.
Question #1: Are You In An On-Again/Off-Again Situation?
This one might seem odd, but interestingly, I’ve learned that one of the easiest ways to get an ex back is actually to look at people’s situations. I understand that each relationship is different, and the ones that have offered the most “success” in such situations are those on-again-off-again relationships.
This means that this isn’t their first breakup- it might not even be their second. Some people just keep breaking up and getting back together. Why do we want to avoid that situation, though?
Well, it is probably one of the best indicators of your future chances of success; it is NOT a great indicator of relationship success.
What’s the difference? What’s the big deal with being in an on-again-off-again relationship?
Most of the time, such relationships have one partner who’s addicted to that short honeymoon period right after they get back together. Once that period fizzles out, the relationship doesn’t interest them anymore, and they want to break up with you again to “restart” the cycle. See how this just becomes a never-ending loop?
Statistically speaking, if it’s your fifth or sixth break up with someone, chances are it’s not going to work out in the long run.
Such volatile relationships are immature, and it’s an indicator that your partner is not likely to change. Not saying they can never change, just that change is not going to come easily if it hasn’t already happened.
You need to be prepared for the eventuality that they will never change, and you could be caught in this breakup-makeup loop for life.
Question #2: Are You Overcome With Loneliness?
Relationships are often defined by our patterns, like our communication patterns and life patterns, especially if you lived with your ex. When those patterns become interrupted after a breakup, it can be extremely hard to cope, and that can make you feel lonely.
Perhaps your ex was the one who stayed up late, holding you or talking to you till you fell asleep. You grew used to that pattern, and now that it’s not there, there could be a metaphorical hole in your heart where those feelings of love used to be.
That hole left by your ex can be filled with loneliness, and that can start to overpower your life. At that moment, it’s very important for you not to let that loneliness shroud your overall awareness of the situation.
Most people who come to me wanting to get back with their ex do so because of their knee-jerk reaction to the loneliness. They simply can’t imagine a world without their ex.
Ironically, to win your ex back, you NEED to imagine a world without him. You need to imagine a world where you never get them back, and that will give you an indescribable power- a power that cannot be given by loneliness.
Feelings of loneliness seldom make great decisions.
This is the time to ask yourself the hard question of whether you just want your ex back because you’re lonely. Are you just reacting this way out of loneliness?
If yes, that’s not a solid foundation for a rekindled relationship, and even if you can restart your relationship with this, it will not last the way you want it to.
Question #3: We Know That You’re Open To Change, Are They?
A lot of people thinking that the hard part in this process is getting an ex back, but I’d argue that making a relationship work is much much harder. But why?
For relationships to work, they need TWO individuals to be trying their best. Now we know you’re willing to try to make your relationship work, but what about your ex?
There’s no point in making all these efforts if your ex isn’t willing to do the same.
Sometimes I get repeat clients where they were really happy about getting back with their ex, but a few months down the road, their ex breaks up with them again. Situations like this make me feel guilty sometimes, but then I realize that it’s not my fault, it’s their ex’s problem.
The person who got their ex back was willing to give it their all to make things work out and improve their relationship, but their ex just wasn’t ready to try to change anything at all.
If your ex is extremely stubborn and unwilling to admit to any of their wrongdoings even if the breakup was their fault, they are not a great candidate for getting back. I’d actually argue that if an ex isn’t willing to concede any ground, you probably shouldn’t even try to get them back.
Then some exes make false promises about changing their ways to get you back, but when push comes to shove, they’re the exact same person. How do we even determine what the truth is with these kinds of exes?
Honestly, this will always be a mystery because it requires factors that you can’t always swing in your favor, like time and experience. Your ex needs to SHOW you he can change instead of just saying that.
After all, I always say that actions weigh more than words. If someone says something to me, it doesn’t have much value until they can actually act on their words. The same goes for your ex.
Question #4: How Much Time Has Passed?
The biggest candidates for entering into an on-again-off-again limbo are those who break up and get back together within a week. Why? Well. How much real change could have occurred in a week?
Can people even get true clarity that quick?
People often get swept up in the excitement of getting back what they lost, and in doing so, they forget WHY they lost it in the first place. People need time to reflect on their mistakes and decide how they can better themselves before jumping back into the relationship.
This is actually why our ex-recovery process requires a minimum of a 21 day no contact rule. We’re finding that our best success stories take a long time to get back together. So, to have a long healthy relationship after a breakup, it takes an average of 3.5 months or more of self-reflection and growth.
Let’s take two situations as an example. In one situation, a couple gets back together within 2 weeks of breaking up, and in the second situation, the couple takes 6 months apart before getting back together. Which of these couples do you think has a better chance at having a lasting long term relationship?
From what we’ve seen, it’s definitely the couple that took 6 months to get back together. Why?
Because the couple that only spent two weeks apart is basing their decision solely on emotions while the second couple is basing their decision on logic that they arrived to after lots of self-reflection.
I’ve heard people say that raw emotions are what make relationships last, but we’ve found that people who make logic-based decisions stay together longer because they VALUE themselves and their relationship more.
Question #5: Is There A Better Option Out There For You?
Here’s the controversial part. I believe that every single person who goes through a breakup should go on a date with someone else. The more dates, the better. Why?
The reason is twofold:
Going out and dating someone new can actually help you get over a breakup.
If you go out six months after your breakup and you’re still not feeling a deeper connection with anyone, maybe it’s a sign that the connection you had with your ex was more powerful than you realized.
Thus, going on dates serves as a kind of litmus test to determine if there’s someone else better for you out there.
If there isn’t, you can try getting back with your ex!
How Do You Know If You Should Get Back Together With Your Ex
There’s nothing worse than wasting your time on an ex that you shouldn’t be trying to get back.
So, in this section we are going to look at the legitimate reasons that you should be trying to get back with an ex.
I’ve designed this list in a way that it’s taking into account “good reasons” but also reasons that will lead to success. After all, there’s a difference between wanting an ex back “just because” and wanting an ex back who got cold feet for a dumb reason.
By no means is the list I’m about to reveal to you set in stone. In fact, there are probably hundreds of good reasons to get back together with your ex.
These are just the most popular good reasons I’ve come across.
So, without further ado I introduce the five best reasons to get back together with your ex.
- You’ve never experienced chemistry like this before
- Your ex got cold feet for a dumb reason
- One of you wanted therapy but not because anything was wrong
- Your ex broke up with you because of they can’t take the distance anymore.
- Your ex dates someone new and wants to come back
Let’s start from the top.
Reason #1: You’ve Never Experienced Chemistry Like This Before
I believe it was the great Carl Jung who said,
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
I can’t tell you how many dates I’ve been on where things just didn’t click for me chemistry wise.
I also can’t tell you how many dates I’ve been on where things have clicked for me but they haven’t for the other person.
It truly is a great thing when you find someone that you have the same level of chemistry with that they have with you.
If you truly believe that you and your ex have a special type of chemistry that can’t be repeated with anyone else AND THEY FELT IT TOO.
Then you might very well have a good reason to try to get them back.
Reason #2: Your Ex Got Cold Feet For A Dumb Reason
When I was 24 years old I met the love of my life, my wife Jennifer.
Before this point I had dated around but I hadn’t felt this way about anybody.
Remember that chemistry I was talking about before?
It was a new and frightening feeling.
We moved fast too.
We were long distance and both of us knew that if we wanted this relationship to survive we would have to find a way to close that distance.
So, we came up with a plan. I would move to her and we would get an apartment together.
I always used to think that people that got “cold feet” were ridiculous.
“How can you suddenly just leave someone at the alter?” I would think.
“Why would you suddenly break up after proposing?”
I had truly never experienced the cold feet feeling before until my girlfriend (soon to be my wife) and I toured apartment in her home state.
I remember thinking, “This is going too fast. I can’t move in with her.”
I began to get cold feet.
It’s funny getting cold feet always seems to happen during great moments of change.
- Leaving someone at the alter (A big change is about to take place)
- Moving across the country to be with someone (Another big change)
- Moving in together (big change.)
Cold feet is like our bodies way of rebelling against the change.
“Our life is fine the way it currently is.” It’ll say.
In my case I was have a critical mass overload of change.
Moving across the country to a place I didn’t know to move in with a beautiful woman may sound like a dream but it scared me.
Now, I never went as far as breaking anything off or even telling my girlfriend (soon to be wife) what I was feeling but not all people are as strong as me.
If your ex boyfriend broke up with you because of cold feet you have yourself a good reason to get them back.
Reason #3: One Of You Wanted To See A Professional (Not Because Anything Was Wrong)
This one I can’t claim credit for.
One of our first success stories, Jessy, can.
Jessy and her boyfriend (now husband) were getting along fine. However, Jessy who had already been divorced once decided that as her boyfriend and her were beginning to get more serious she would like to see a therapist.
Not because anything was wrong but because she didn’t want history to repeat itself.
She didn’t want to fall in love with this man, marry him and then have him leave her.
Of course, her boyfriend didn’t take too kindly to this.
He broke up with her due to the fights it caused.
Now, she was able to eventually get him back (probably because the reason for the breakup was kind of weak) and get him to go to therapy with her.
However, my point here is that if you have a reason for the breakup that is kind of ridiculous like this then you are in good territory.
Reason #4: Your Ex Broke Up With You Because They Can’t Take The Distance Anymore
Long distance relationships are kind of poetic if you think about it.
You have the lovers that want nothing more than to be together but can’t because of circumstance.
There’s a certain Romeo and Juliet flair to them.
Realistically three things are required to ensure a long distance relationship can work out.
- Time Together- You need to feed that relationship beast and find time together while you are suffering the distance.
- Money- How are you going to pay to see one another? Long distance isn’t cheap (believe me.)
- A Plan- You need to be working towards some kind of plan to close the distance.
Of course, most people enter into long distance relationships without thinking about any of these things.
They get caught up in the poetry of it all and maybe they have incredible chemistry with that other person.
But eventually reality will hit and the shine will wear off.
If this sounds like your breakup then you have just been introduced for a good reason to try to get your ex back.
Reason #5: Your Ex Dates Someone New And Wants To Come Back
This may seem like an odd addition but if you really think about it breakups at their core are nothing more than one party telling another that they think they can do better.
But sometimes the grass isn’t greener on that other side.
Sometimes the grass is dead.
So, usually we see one of two things happening in these kinds of circumstances.
Your ex moves on and finds someone new. It’s really great at first but eventually they compare how they feel with this new person to how they felt with you and they immediately regret their decision.
Your ex tries to move on and find someone new. They fail miserably and realize it was a lot nice on the other side of the fence with you.
We have literally seen this happen all the time.
Let’s move on.
How Long Should You Wait To Get Back Together With Your Ex
When considering if you should get back with your ex you need to consider the fact that you are technically on a ticking clock.
No one ever wants to think about the fact that your opportunity to get your ex back is limited but it is.
But how limited is your time?
Well, in this section that’s what we are going to look at.
We know from researching our average success story that the whole process from start to finish takes 3-7 months on average and that isn’t including the no contact rule.
So, if we use that as our baseline we can learn some interesting things about the process.
- If you are 7 months removed from your breakup you can expect your chances to very slowly begin to dwindle.
- On the flip side if you try to get your ex back too quickly and rush the process your chances dwindle as well.
It truly seems there is a sweet spot for your success and it lies between days 90 and 210 post no contact.
So, if you include no contact that means our average success story occurs between days 120 and 240.
Try to get them back before that sweet spot and your chances for success are less and try to get them after that sweet spot your chances are also less.
Let’s move on.
When To Give Up On Trying To Get Your Ex Back
Just because you want to get your ex back doesn’t mean you should.
In this section we are going to look at the situations where you should give up trying to get your ex back.
Earlier this year I filmed a video on my YouTube channel called the big red flags to NOT get your ex back.
In all I talked about 9 red flags.
- Extreme Jealousy
- Explosive Anger
- Hiding an Addiction
(Side Note: We do not condone going back to a situation with any kind of emotional or physical abuse.)
But to be honest with you the aim of this entire section in this guide isn’t just to tell you what situations should cause you to give up on your ex but rather to show you circumstances on when you should give up as well.
Ok, the red flags above are generally things you should know about before you make your attempt to get them back.
The grey area that no one seems to want to acknowledge is how to know when you should give up when you’ve tried everything and nothing is working.
Without a doubt one of the most difficult situations to be in is where you’ve followed our programs advice to a T and your ex still won’t talk to you.
We can often point to avoidance as an attachment style to explain this away but what happens if your ex blocks you and never unblocks you?
What happens if you text your ex and they never respond to you?
What happens if they do respond to you but aren’t engaged?
Should you give up and move on?
Here’s what I think.
Ideally you should be in a place emotionally where you have confronted this harsh reality and accepted it before you talk to your ex.
You should be in a place where you will be ok with losing your ex forever.
90% of people who want their exes back will not be in that place.
So, before you give up work to attain that mindset.
But if you have and you still encounter a situation where you can’t get your ex to bite.
Well, your time is more valuable than you think.
Don’t waste it on someone who can’t see your brilliance.