Get Back Your Ex Even If You’re Only One Making The Effort

Can a relationship with your ex work if your ex is not trying and you’re the only one making the effort to make it work? The only one initiating contacts and conversations; and the only one still in love, is harder.

While it takes two to make a relationship work, it can take just one to change how the relationship works.

How does that even work? It works when one person changes (in a positive direction), so much that the dynamics of the relationship change.

Just like 1+1 =2, but if you add 0.5 to one part of the equation, the result can never be 2 again. It’ll be 1.5+1=2.5.

Same thing. If one person changes but the other person doesn’t, the person who has changed can positively influence the dynamics of the relationship.

For example: If most of your disagreements end in fights and you learn better ways or disagreeing or arguing, it changes the dynamics of how you disagree or argue. You will still disagree or argue with each other which is a normal part of healthy and functional relationships, but the disagreement and argument will not end in a fight. This not only improves the relationship, it also (without you telling them to) helps your ex learn better ways of disagreeing.

But in order for a relationship with your ex to work when you’re the only one making the effort, three things need to be in place.

1) Love

We all have heard the phrase “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” Usually the person saying these words is saying “I still have feelings for you and I care about you, I’m just not motivated/excited about/committed to being in a relationship with you.

What the person saying these words is not saying (at least not aloud) is that, I can be motivated/excited about/made to commit, under the right conditions. In other words that feeling of being IN love can come back.

Your task is to create the right conditions for the feelings of being IN love to come back. The “right” conditions is not about proving to your ex that you have changed, it’s about demonstrating to them that the relationship doesn’t have to work the way it did before (1.5+1=2.5).

That only goes only as far as “feeling in love” is concerned. If the love is completely gone, there is nothing you can do to make the relationship work; however much you want it and however hard you try.

2) Open lines of communication

It doesn’t matter how much love your ex feels for you, if there is NO communication, there is NO relationship. It’s as simple as that.

If there is no communication, there are also no opportunities for you to influence how the relationship works.

“Open” lines of communication means no backdoor tactics or trying to burst your way in. Manipulation and aggressive tactics undermine your efforts to positively change how the relationship works.

To learn more about how to use open lines of communication to change the dynamics of a relationship, please spend more time on my blog.

3) Change

The main reason why many men and women fail to get their ex back is that they say they’ve changed (and sometimes they indeed have changed on a personal level), but they haven’t changed in relation to the other person. A few texts, phone calls or dates, and their ex can see that nothing has changed.

There has to be a process (action), for change to happen. The process can be anything from committing oneself to a self-prescribed personal growth program to working with a professional.

Just like sitting on the couch thinking about how to lose weight doesn’t get the weight off, just sitting and thinking about all the mistakes you made and what needs to change (if your ex takes you back) doesn’t mean you’ve changed.

So YES, a relationship with your ex can work even if you’re the only one making the effort to make it work. BUT, you have to be willing to put in the work to change how the relationship works.


Should I Let My Ex Initiate All Contact? (I’m The Dumpee)

Should I Wait For My Ex To Come Back? 1 Year Break-Up

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  1. says: Naya

    Yangki, you said “give your ex a place in your life as your boyfriend even though he’s still your ex”, and that’s exactly what I have been doing. Things have slowly started to change for the better. We have many great conversations and talk openly about how we felt after the break up. He says he can see I changed and likes it. I am worried though that he may be thinking of me as a friend now. What do you think? I trust your guidance and advice.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      “He says he can see I changed and likes it”…

      Hold on to that and continue showing him the relationship can and will be better. As long as you are making it clear his place in your life is that of “a boyfriend”, there is nothing to be worried about.

  2. says: Kev

    Long story short, me and my ex broke up 2 months 1 week ago. I didnt beg or ask her to come back. I maintained contact but kept it light and friendly. Neither of us brought up the breakup or the old relationship until last night. She started taking about how she respects me for the way I handled the breakup and didn’t overreact to the things she said were wrong with me. I told her she was right and I have been working to become a better me. We talked about some of our fond memories and at some point things got flirty and it was all happening spontaneously. It seems that we finally broke down the wall between us, but I don’t want to overthink it too much.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      I also respect you for the mature and grown up way you handled things… it seems to have paid off. All the signs are pointing towards “good”, but you are right not to overthink it.

      Whatever you’re doing seems to be working. All the very best… (:

  3. says: Nik

    Yangki, my ex acts like everything is fine and nice when we’re together but when we text she is cold and completely distant. I have been trying to get her to spend more time with me so we can build on the momentum but she says it makes her feel pressured. What’s going on? Is it a case of immaturity? Btw, she’s 39, I am 37.

    1. In my experience, what is happening with your ex is a case of the heart says ‘yes’, but the head says ‘no’

      One possible reason for this is that she still has feelings for you but doesn’t think the relationship can work (may be she’s not seeing enough changes to convince her that things can be different).

      The other possible reason is that she’s trying to force herself to move on despite her feelings. When she’s with you, she feels good and likes it, but when you are not together her thoughts or influence of friends and relatives take over.

      The third reason, is she’s playing a mind game. I doubt it, but it’s possible.

      This article might help: How To Get Back An Ex Who’s Acting Hot And Cold

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