Rule #1 of successfully getting back together:
Start over – Don’t try to recover or fix the old relationship. It’s over for a reason. Start a new relationship with your ex.
Rule #2 of successfully getting back together:
Be better – Work on the reasons the relationship ended in the first place and show your ex that you are better than the person they broke up with.
Rule #3 of successfully getting back together:
Do Better – Show your ex how the new relationship will be better by 1) not repeating the behaviours that brought about the break-up and 2) bringing to the new relationship new behaviours, relationship skills and tools.
Rule #4 of successfully getting back together:
No stress: Stress-free, pressure-free, take it slow, relaxed and easy-going, happen naturally and organically, be present, enjoy the experience… whatever you want to call it.
Like many relationship coaches, when I started helping men and women attract back their ex, I assumed that when someone decides they want their ex back they have thought through:
1) What it is they want or hope to achieve (both in the short term and long term).
2) What their plan B (other than no contact) is if things stall or don’t happen the way they hoped.
But more importantly, I assumed that all my clients knew how to make the experience of attracting back their ex stress-free, relaxed, easy and fun. My thinking was that, if they were able to attract their ex the first time, they must already know how to get things to where they are relaxed, easy and fun again. They’ve dated this person before, they know what makes them smile, laugh, relax and have fun.
I was wrong in my assumptions.
My experience is that most people assume that contact will automatically be relaxed, easy and fun and things will evolve to becoming interesting and fun on their own.
Sometimes they do. You ease into regular contact, conversations flow naturally, and strong attraction emerges naturally and organically, but most of the time they don’t. One has to work hard at getting things to where contact is comfortable for both and conversations are once again relaxed, natural and fun.
But sometimes however hard you try to make the experience relaxed, easy and fun, you find yourself always struggling because your inner experience, the way you experience yourself isn’t relaxed, easy and fun to begin with.
If you’re too “emotional”, you can’t be fun to be around because you can’t control or manage your emotions. Your emotions run the show and control what you think, what you say and how you act – and most of the time it’s not relaxed, easy or fun.
If you are fearful, you can’t relax because you are too busy over-analyzing every word, every move, every silence, every everything. You read meaning into everything and react based on your own thoughts, feelings, and interpretations of the experience instead of what is actually happening.
If you are overly anxious, you can’t let things unfold because you are always worried about the next text or next date and want to know “Do you love me?” “Are we okay?” “When do we get back together?”.
If you are needy, you can’t be present enough to enjoy the moment because you try too hard to be liked, loved, appreciated, wanted, needed etc. You make what is a relaxed and fun experience feel like ‘hard work’ and a struggle to breathe.
If you are chronically negative, you can’t have fun because you only see what’s wrong, what might go wrong, what’s about to go wrong, what is not working etc, at every turn.
If you are controlling, manipulative or narcissistic, you are always looking for “what is in it for me” and as a result, sometimes things are fun and relaxed but most times, it’s tension and arguments (with your ex pulling away every time).
If you fall in any one of the categories above, understand that you can’t give to someone else what you don’t have or expect from others what you can’t give to yourself.
It’s even possible that whatever is making you unable to relax, be present, go with the flow and have fun is something (being needy, controlling, inflexible, selfish, chronically negative, anxious and fearful) you have struggled with in all your relationships and maybe even all your life. It’s time to do some real inner work.
Real inner work, not the “act happy” type. Fake-it-til-you-make-it, slap-on-a-smile and used-car-salesman type tactics don’t work with someone who has dated you and knows you. You have to bring it to get it.
That said, it’s important to understand that when trying to attract back an ex, everyone experiences some degree of anxiety, uncertainty, feelings of unrest or doubt from time to time. This is normal and even healthy.
Just like in life, it’s impossible to be upbeat, positive and hopeful twenty-four-seven. The difference is that people who are laid-back, easy-going, and fun to be around have moments in which they feel anxious, uncertain and even hopeless, but these feelings pass quickly and often do not cause any damage to their chances of getting back with their ex.
One other important point is that sometimes the feeling that you are struggling and can’t relax, be present and have fun with your ex is a sign that the relationship is so damaged that no amount of trying to make things relaxed and fun is going to make a difference.
You may be trying to inject fun and excitement into a relationship that’s been over a long time. The only thing to do is to let go trying and move on.
But make sure that before you decide to move on that you’ve done everything possible to get things to where contact is comfortable for both of you and conversations are once again relaxed, natural and fun.
In short, make sure you are not the one standing in your own way.
Yes, it’s good to work on the reasons the relationship ended in the first place and to show your ex that the new relationship will be better, but if the experience of getting back together is emotionally stressful, all the changes you make don’t matter.