Getting back together with your ex- and this time making it work- can be a real challenge. So what strategies and steps will give you the best chance of success?
This is not magic: keep in mind these things can take a lot of work and patience on your part. With that end in mind, let’s explore five sound steps to rebuild a solid foundation with your ex, and make it more likely your relationship will last the Second Time Around (cue the music).
Overview of the Reconciliation Process
These strategies can give you the tools you need to reconcile and rebuild your relationship, this time on a solid foundation. If you want to get back together with your ex and make it work, showing real change and commitment is the best way to show it.
This process involves determining the reasons your relationship failed, taking some time to regain your bearings, opening the lines of communications, and making needed changes. Also, counseling can be a wonderful tool, giving you an outside perspective that may help to repair your relationship in a significant way.
Determine the Reasons
Determining why your relationship failed the first time around is the important first step in getting back together. Your ex likely gave you a reason for calling it quits, but unfortunately the reason they give isn’t always the REAL reason.
If you cheated, the reason for the breakup is pretty obvious. However, if your ex seemed fine yesterday, but woke up this morning and suddenly wanted to break up, then it may take some work to figure out exactly what went wrong. Regardless, you’ll need to have the reason for the breakup clearly fixed in your mind, so you know what needs to change to make things work the second time around when you address those issues.
You’ll need to really listen to your ex, understand his/her feelings and concerns, and address those problems head-on. Common issues include commitment issues, lack of maturity (getting together too soon), too much flirting with the opposite sex, and that perennial favorite- poor communications!
If your ex won’t talk to you in person, texting can help open the lines of communication. Even if your ex doesn’t respond to your texts, they will most likely still be read.
Give Yourself Some Time
Once you’ve identified the problem areas in your relationship, it’s time to make some changes. Getting back together with your ex and making it work does NOT happen overnight. The fact you are also grieving the your breakup will make it even more difficult. Therefore, it is important to take some time to get your bearings once again. So, give yourself time to hurt, but don’t give the pain the power to take over your mind and your life.
Why is this important?
Put simply, if you immediately start angling to get back together, your frame of mind might not be in a good emotional state. You should wait until you’re in a position of strength to reconnect with your ex. In this way, you avoid seeming needy or clingy, as you don’t want to appear to be begging for the other to take you back.
Instead, you want to show your ex the person- the original one- that they fell in love with in the first place. To do so, you need to allow enough time to refocus, rebuild your confidence, and work on correcting the issues your ex identified as being problems in the past.
Open the Lines of Communication
Once you are ready, it is time to show your ex that you really are the right person for them. Obviously, it will be impossible to demonstrate to your ex that you’ve changed, if you have no interaction or communication with them.
Fortunately, opening up the lines of communication can be as simple as talking to mutual friends about changes you’ve made in your life. This information will eventually filter down to your ex, and it may pique their interest in you as a partner once more.
A more direct approach would be asking your ex to meet with you. Here it is vital that you keep the tone light and cordial, and try to avoid a serious mood. Schedule your get-together during the day, so it’s not confused as a date. You don’t want any romantic overtones to your meeting, and this meeting should not be seen as an attempt to win them back. Instead, this is your time to show them that you’ve corrected the problems that caused you to break up.
For a long-term relationship that you’re committed to salvage, you may want to consider counseling. You and your ex can attend sessions on your own, but it is important that you share the same therapist. However, you should seriously consider going to some sessions together, as this can really help you work through your issues.
This type of approach is appropriate for a marriage you’re trying to save, or an ex with whom you want to spend your life.
Why counseling? Ask my wife, the counselor. She knows that change can be difficult, and people often have a blind spot when it comes to identifying their own faults. Therefore, fixing your failures may require professional help.
All the reasons, time, communications and counseling in the world won’t mean a thing if you- and your ex, if need be- don’t initiate changes. With new insights as to the reason for your break-up, and (hopefully) some professional help on how to lay a firmer foundation on which to build your relationship, making changes should now become easier and easier as you go forward.
If these steps allow you to reconcile, it is important NOT to bring up the past once you’re back together. The goal is to build a NEW relationship and a hopeful future, NOT to dwell on past failings.
Finally, continued counseling can be an excellent choice to ensure you don’t fall back into the same, old patterns. If all goes well, the end result is a successful reconciliation and the second chance you want and deserve.