Should I Tell My Ex I Want Us To Have A Fresh Start?

Question: In your eBook you said to wait until things have warmed up with an ex before bringing up getting back together. However, in the past few weeks, before I bought your eBook, I asked my ex to get back together and she said she’s not ready for a relationship. She wants to be single and date for a while. I told her neither was I since I still had a lot of work to do on myself. Now I know I should not have said I was not ready to get back together after asking her to get back together. Fortunately, she’s still responding positively thanks to your ebook, I am not making any major mistakes. I’m thinking of just being truthful and tell her I want her back but that didn’t work well the first time. Should I tell her “I want us to have a fresh start?” What do you think?

Yangki’s Answer: It’d be nice to just say “I want us to have a fresh start?” and start over, but that’s not how it happens.

She already told you she wants to be single and date for a while, telling her you want a fresh start is not going to change her mind, she might even feel pressured and rethink keeping in contact with you.

The good thing is that she’s still responding positively, which means that she’s not yet completely closing the door to a possibility of getting back together in the future.

Instead of telling her you want a fresh start, show her what a new and improved, better relationship can be. She has to believe that things will be better. This is what your contacts need to be about. Whenever you can, highlight the changes you have made in the way you act towards her, and also in the way you live your life.

You don’t have to directly say you have changed, instead show her how you’ve changed by not repeating the behaviours that caused problems (and the break-up) and by being better as a person and a better (potential) partner.

It goes with out saying, to achieve all this you must have done the necessary work of making yourself better. If she doesn’t see herself in a better relationship, she won’t want what you’re offering.

As for her wanting to be single and date for a while, you can’t do anything about that. She is going to do it whether you want it or not. As a good rule of life, don’t invest so much emotion and time on things you can’t change or control. Focus you time and energy on the things you can change and control, and right now, you control how you come across to her.

It will not happen overnight, the point is to recognize what needs to be done, to start doing it and keep doing it until you start to see results. If you handle this right, it won’t be long before you see changes in your ex’s attitude towards you.

A word of caution here for others reading this response. I don’t want to sugar coat this and make it look like it’ll work for everybody. Your ex has to want to communicate with you in the first place – even if he or she is not sure or ready to get back with you, right away. Just willingness to communicate is all the opportunity you need to start warming things up.


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  1. says: Kesead

    She tried to talk me out of it saying she did not want us to become strangers but I went ahead with n/c anyway. Ever since, she has been ice cold and indifferent. I’ve reached out to her with letters or email about once every couple weeks, which seems to make her even angrier. Yesterday she sent me an email saying she just wants me to leave her alone. In hindsight, I wish I had never did n/c. My little boy reaction of fear of rejection seems to have created the reality. At this point, I’ve lost all hope of ever getting her back. I don’t think anything will change her mind.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      Given that she asked you not to cut off all contact after the break up and you did it anyway, I’m sure she feels her indifference is justified.

      My advice for you is to step back, just stop trying to get her back, but don’t close the door behind you either. Don’t say, I’m moving on or something to that effect. Just go on living your life and not try to pursue her or expect her to pursue you. This alone will not change her mind but it will at least show that you respect her wish to leave her alone.

  2. says: Wiser P

    The hardest part is not knowing what she’s thinking. I think I could move on better if I just knew she didn’t want to get back together at all.

    1. says: Love Doctor, Yangki Akiteng

      I agree with you that hardest part of this process is not knowing what the other is thinking. It’s even harder when you can’t make up your mind as to what you really want to do – move on or try to get your ex back. You can’t have it both ways. The more energy and time you spend moving back and forth, the less energy and time you have to focus on either one. That’s when you feel really stuck.

  3. says: Lunar

    This is exactly what I needed to read for some positive reinforcement!

    “Be demonstrative, but do it with dignity.”

    Thanks for this and all of your other wonderful articles, Doc.

  4. says: Cissey

    Yangki, you’re so right about responding instead of reacting. My ex and I had an incident a couple of days ago where I felt that he was trying to push my buttons. He always complained that I fight nasty and act defensive for no reason. In this incident, I took a deep breath and instead of getting defensive sent a text back keeping it factual as I needed to be without being nasty. He responded with “Wow! what did you do with my ex?” and a smiley.

  5. says: Paul

    Then how do I get her back if I don’t know if she wants me back or not. Is there some way to know what she’s thinking?

    1. There is no way of knowing what anyone thinks unless they tell you. But you can try to figure out how they feel by their actions. For example: if she makes an effort to keep contact with you, you can tell she still has a positive view of you; if she’s asking friends about your dating life, it’s likely that she still thinks there might be a chance or that you’re still not over her; if she asks to see you face to face, it means she’s once again comfortable in your physical space and might even mean that she’s actually interested in finding out if the “chemistry” is still there. etc.

      This article will also help: 5 Signs Your Ex Is Becoming Interested Again