She’s gone. You miss her. You’re asking yourself, “Should I get back with my ex?” But a little voice in your head reminds you that you broke up for a reason. There was trouble in paradise…
Before deciding if you should get your ex back, ask yourself a tougher question:
Why do you want your ex back?
Knowing the reasons you and your ex got together (and stayed together as long as you did) can help you decide whether or not to try again. If you decide to give it another go, you can use this information to sculpt a strategy for getting back together with your ex.
1. Should you really be getting back with your ex just for sex?
Let’s face it – we guys love having sex “on tap.” Instead of having to go out, be social, and work for it, we can simply stay home with our live-in girlfriends/wives. Even if you don’t live with your girlfriend, you’ll probably find it easier to have sex with her than find a new girlfriend. The trouble is, she knows this.
Putting all your eggs in one basket gives your partner control over the amount of sex you have. In a typical relationship, the woman gives the man just a little more sex than he figures he could get on his own (as a single guy). By getting a good amount of sex on a regular basis, he thinks he’s getting a good deal – and she knows she’s in charge.
Women aren’t evil – they just need to feel safe and in control of their relationships. Pregnant women and new mothers need a lot of support and stability. A woman who thinks her man might leave her for another woman feels vulnerable and betrayed – even if her man hasn’t done anything wrong.
Whether or not you use birth control (and I hope you do), your partner will still act according to her instincts. There isn’t a pill for the emotions that accompany sexual relationships. She’ll give you as much sex as you need to keep from straying – and often no more than that.
All this being said, should you get back with your ex for sex?
If all you want is sex, your best move is to improve your game and find someone hotter than your ex – or someone as hot as her who treats you better. You’ll have to shed your limiting beliefs, some of which your partner may have encouraged in you while you were together. However, acting out of confidence brings far better results than acting out of a scarcity mindset.
In short, going back to your ex for sex because you think you can’t find anyone better is a terrible idea. Even if you don’t say it, this attitude of neediness will come across to her. If you’re lucky, she’ll be unattracted to the new, weaker you and refuse to get back together. If you’re unlucky, she’ll take you back. She’ll feel safe knowing you can’t make it without her and give you less and less sex.
However, there is another option – the transition period. If you really just want sex from your ex, you can get it without restarting your relationship.
Let’s say she’s moved on and found a new boyfriend (women often rebound much faster than men). In the early part of her new relationship, she has high hopes for her new boyfriend but a stronger emotional attachment to her old boyfriend – you.
Your ex will probably reach out to you for sex on the side, especially if you follow the no contact rule. This tactic involves shutting down all communication (and, of course, in-person meetings) for a set period of time (typically 1½ to 2 weeks). If all you want is sex with your ex until you find a new partner, do what women do: overlap an old partner with a new one.
Cheating on a new partner with an old one may sound nefarious, but it’s science. Women have a lot to gain from juggling two (or more) guys. First, she has you as a backup plan if things don’t work out with the new guy. Second, they can avoid getting too attached too soon to the new guy by hooking up with you, increasing her level of power over him. Third, she knows she can trust you. Despite your reasons for breaking up, you were together for a while. She knows what to expect from you in bed, feels comfortable being intimate with you, and knows you aren’t an axe-murderer. In short, you’re a good candidate for late-night hookups.
If you’re looking for sex, up your game and move on – but remember your ex may be willing to hook up with you. If you keep them casual and infrequent, these hookups can last for a good while after your breakup. They can even resume when she breaks up with the next guy.
2. Should you get back with an ex for love?
Love is a big word – it means many things to many people in many contexts. In this case, I’m talking about the strong romantic feelings people enjoy in the early years of a relationship. If you and your ex have broken up during this phase, it can be devastating emotionally – for both of you.
It doesn’t matter who broke up with whom. We humans have evolved to feel terrible when we lose a mate – especially in the first few years of a relationship. As I said above, there’s no pill for the emotional consequences of sexual relationships.
In this case, we feel strong positive and negative emotions toward our partners during the first several years after hooking up – the time it takes for a woman to have a child and teach it to walk. Remember – our emotions evolved in an ancient world of small tribes when survival was tough.
After enough time has passed for their children to keep up with the tribe (and be cared for by older children), people typically lose interest in their partners and seek better mates. Even if a relationship is relatively positive for both partners, their genes will still encourage them (via their emotions) to seek genetic variety.
For example, a man may pass on a genetic defect to his children that doesn’t become apparent for many years. In this case, a woman would have more healthy grandchildren (the gold standard of reproductive strategies) by mating with other men throughout her life.
Love is temporary – but vital to keeping young families together during their vulnerable first few years.
So, you’re probably asking yourself, “Should I get back with my ex-girlfriend for love, even though it’s fleeting?”
Yes and no. This one is complicated.
If you and your ex both have strong feelings for each other, you may want to give it another chance. However, if one of you (probably her, if you’re reading this article) has moved on emotionally 100% for certain, and you know this because it’s been a while since the breakup, then it’s time to cut your losses, dry your eyes, and find someone new. But if the break up only happened in the last few weeks and you feel her mind could be changed by playing your cards right, then it could still be worth a go.
Partners rarely lose their attraction for each other at the same time. Sadly, one person often maintains strong feelings of love while the other’s love fades. No one is right or wrong – it’s just human nature. Most of us will feel the pain of playing both of these roles at some time in our lives: the devastation of losing a love and the guilt at having triggered this emotion in a partner.
If you both still have powerful feelings for each other, then why did you break up? Why did your relationship explode if you had such passion for each other?
Love and hate are very similar emotions. Scientists have shown that these feelings light up the same brain areas (the insula and the putamen). The feelings of love and hate may be intertwined for a variety of reasons, including mate-guarding and jealousy. Surely, you’ve felt the feeling of hating a woman’s actions (like flirting with another guy) while still loving her desperately.
In some cases, men and women have so much passion for each other that they can’t stay together – but can’t stay apart. This concept inspired the phrase, “Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em.”
A female friend of mine said she and her boyfriend benefitted from a year apart to gain maturity and get to know themselves better as individuals. They had dated on and off a few times before taking the time off they needed to make things work. If you (or your ex) are young and relatively inexperienced in relationships, you may find a “break” brings you closer together over the long-term.
If you choose to take this route, create a strategy by examining your (and your ex’s) reasons for giving it another shot – and follow the step-by-step process in this get your girlfriend back guide. Going back to your ex for love can be very rewarding, under the right circumstances.
3. Should you get back with your ex for companionship?
I know, your home (and your bed) can get awfully lonely without your woman. This is a natural part of relationships – and something we all should remember before getting into relationships. The end (whether it’s after a short time or a lifetime) is always hard.
However, remember your emotional pain isn’t personal and it doesn’t mean you’ve lost “the one.” It’s just nature punishing you for not staying with a desirable mate. It can be awfully hard to avoid calling, texting, and expressing your neediness when you miss your ex.
You must be strong. Think back to breakups with previous girlfriends. It hurt, but you got over it – right?
It can feel terrible to see things and people that remind you of someone you love. Perhaps you’re “seeing her everywhere.” Were you sure that girl in the supermarket (with the same figure and hair color) was your ex until she turned around? Have you started crushing on TV/movie actresses who look and act like your ex?
The trick is to accept your weaknesses, but not show them. You’re human – you’re going to feel sad and angry when you lose someone. Take time to grieve, but not in front of your ex, or any of her girlfriends. If you stand any chance of getting back with her, you need to seem unaffected by her not being there. Seeming unaffected by her absence will make her crazy – and may bring her back into your life.
So, is getting back with an ex because you lost her as your best friend a weak move or a strong one?
It’s a bit of both.
In this case, it isn’t about your motivations, it’s about your tactics. Missing someone you love is natural, and a good reason to have a relationship with someone. The trick is to act right – and find out if she misses you, too.
Say you and your ex had a fight and broke up a week ago. This is a good sign. If you broke up without fighting, at least one of you doesn’t feel passionate about the other and your chances of getting back together, at least without expert help, are slim to none.
But you had a fight. The two of you were frustrated with each other because you love each other but don’t like each other. You’re attracted to this woman, you enjoy being with her – but you can’t stand some of her behaviors. You put up with her bullshit (and she puts up with yours) but the pot eventually boils over.
What you need is a break. Not just a no contact style break, but a real break. Temporarily cutting off contact can make her jealous (and confused at your lack of neediness), but it doesn’t give the two of you enough time to grow out of your old behavior patterns.
Restore contact with your ex after a couple weeks of radio silence and let her know you still care for her as a friend (if she wants you back, this will drive her crazier, still). Take the high ground and say you both (don’t start a fight by saying it’s only her that needs to change) need time to mature. Let her know she has a chance of being with you later, but not in the near future. Suggest a time frame of a few months – or even a year.
But don’t keep breaking up and getting back together right away. This makes you look weak and doesn’t solve the root causes of your problems. You need to let her go, give her time to miss you, and eventually you take her back. It can’t be the other way around.
4. Is family a good reason for taking your ex back?
If your parents want you to stay with a particular woman for social reasons, drop her like it’s hot. Be your own man. You deserve the best in life. Have relationships for love – not for obligation.
If you and your partner want to “stay together for the kids,” think this one through from a child’s perspective. Is it really healthy for a child to grow up in a home with parents that secretly want to be somewhere—anywhere—else?
Unhappy couples who cohabitate to raise children ooze unhappiness. Children are very sensitive to their parents’ emotions and absorb this negativity without understanding why.
Many parents today are learning to split up without projecting their drama on their kids. They share child-rearing duties and expenses without subjecting themselves and their kids to an unhappy cohabitation or marriage they should’ve ended long ago.
5. Should you really be getting back together after a break up for your reputation?
If you’ve tied your reputation to your partner, she’s bound to feel it and push your limits. If you attach your ego to your woman (typically because she’s better-looking than you think you should get), this emotional attachment will dramatically weaken you. In fact, she was probably only keeping you around until she could find someone better.
Women despise men who need them, but men who display this behavior do make women feel safe. Your woman probably left because she found another guy who treats her well but doesn’t let her walk all over him. Take more chances, sexually. Make clear you want those things you always wanted in bed but were afraid to ask for. Don’t ask though – say it’s what you want and position yourself to do it. She’ll soon refuse if it’s not okay but it’s all about being UNapologetic about what you want.
I assume you didn’t leave your partner if you felt she was the best you could get. However, you may have left her because of extreme disrespect like lying, cheating, crazy behavior, etc. If this is the case, only a break of many years (or decades) will heal your wounds and return you to a place of strength. Remember the good times, but move on.
However, consider the “transition period” I mentioned above. She will still give you sex from time to time while she’s making sure the new guy is stable. Enjoy these times, and take more risks in bed. This means asking for things you didn’t before – when you were afraid she’d be offended by your kinks. A woman who’s giving you sex as a safety net while she builds a new relationship wants you around (doubly so if you were the one who broke up with her for bad behavior).
If you hook up with your ex, avoid the “should we get back together” talk at all costs. Don’t hook up with her every time she offers – and don’t return all her texts. Keep it simple and stay aloof. If you’ve attached your ego to this attractive woman, you need to be out improving your game. It’s time to prove (to both you and your ex) you can get women that look like her (or better) but who will treat you right too.
6. Is breaking up and getting back together okay if you have many shared interests?
Yes and no.
When you find someone who likes the same music, activities, and sexual activities as you do, you can be tempted to give in too much. If you’re coming from a place of scarcity in a relationship, you can lose this special person. Believing you can’t find another better mate will make your partner want to treat you badly, cheat on you, and look for a stronger man. She can feel your weakness – even if you don’t express it verbally.
If you broke up with your partner because you needed her more than she needed you, you’re sunk. Just like in #5, you’ll need a long time to grow stronger and regain your status in her eyes. It’s better to get out there, improve your ability with women, and start over with another girl – who hasn’t yet decided you’re weak and easily manipulated.
Conversely, you may be able to salvage your relationship if you broke up for the right reasons. If she didn’t want to break up with you or you had a fight, she may be giving you signals she wants to try again. These signals can often be quite obvious, such as seeking you out at your favorite bar and whispering that she wants to take you home for sex.
If your ex offers you sex during a “no contact” period, don’t go home with her. You’ll get twice the action later on if you stay strong now. After you get back in touch with her, hint at a “friends with benefits” relationship and let her work to persuade you back into a relationship. This way she won’t see you as a doormat.
But, this woman is special to you. You want more than just a few hookups while you’re both moving on to new lovers and partners. You’re probably asking yourself, “Since we get along so well, should we get back together?”
If your ex respects you during a “no contact” period, sleeps with you occasionally while you move on to other lovers, and still wants to get back together after a few weeks (or longer), you can consider it. Getting back with an ex is very tricky – you need to make certain she isn’t trying to get things back to the “good old days” when she stepped all over you.
Tell her things need to be different this time – and be specific. If she agrees, let her know you’re willing to give it another go, but only for a set amount of time. Revisit the “should we get back together?” conversation in a week or two – and continue this practice indefinitely. In a culture where 50% (or more) of marriages end in divorce, we all know commitments can be broken.
Instead, make your relationship romantic by renewing your commitment to each other from time to time. Tell your partner you love her and want to stay together, not out of any obligations like children or finances – but out of passion. Set a regular date night for recommitments – and enjoy the surge of attraction your partner feels in bed later that night. It’s like having make-up sex without breaking up first!
7. Is going back to an ex for cohabitation a good idea?
If you’re thinking, “Should I get back with my ex because we live together?” you’re in for big trouble. Sure, you can move out of your buddy’s basement and back into a warm bed, but you’ll only repeat the mistakes of the past. If one of you has lost attraction or respect for the other, a short break won’t do any good.
Move on and suck it up. You may have to pay double rent or live in less-than-ideal circumstances for a while. However, you deserve better – whatever it takes to move on and enjoy better relationships.
Just make sure to meet your obligations. Backing out on rent payments or child support shows everyone around you that you lack integrity. You’ll end up with a worse relationship than before – or none at all.
8. What are you going to do when she wants you back for money?
Guilt plays a big role in breakups, especially if you were the one who initiated the breakup. If you broke up in a mutual fight, you probably feel bad about the things you said. You may be tempted to give her gifts during the transition period while you’re both moving on to new partners. She may even try to make you feel guilty for leaving her in a bad financial situation.
Without question, you should meet your legal financial obligations – as I stated in #7. You should also give your partner time to find a new place to live (without continuing to live together, of course.) However, don’t feel like you have to keep paying your half of the rent for very long – she has a network of friends and can find a roommate pretty quickly (perhaps even another person who needs a place to stay after a breakup).
If your partner depends on you for more than just your half of the rent (if you’re claiming her on your taxes, for example), you’re in for big trouble. Relationships like this involve tricky power balances and often end in breakups and divorce. As a guy, you’re probably supporting a woman because of her youth and looks, leaving you vulnerable to the ego traps I describe in #5. If you’re thinking of getting back with an ex because she can’t make it without you, don’t. Yes, you should have avoided this situation in the first place, but repeating this mistake won’t improve things.
Tell that little voice that says, “should I take my ex back?” to wise up, enjoy a little sex with your ex-girlfriend if you can avoid getting back together, and move on to better prospects. You deserve a woman who looks good and can meet her financial obligations without help from a man. Remember – this type of relationship is just a step away from prostitution. Go out there and get a hottie who actually likes you for you!
What you need to know about getting back together with an ex
So, you’ve probably identified one (or a few) reasons why you want to get back together with your ex-girlfriend/wife. However, you’re likely still wondering, “Should I get back with an ex?”
I shared the above list of 8 common reasons to reconnect with an ex so you could escape your emotions for a little while and think rationally. Using your mind when your body is full of conflicting emotions is one of life’s greatest challenges. Congratulate yourself for simply reading this far and making an effort to figure out what went wrong.
Remember – you want to do things different the next time (if there is a next time).
If you’ve read the list above and identified with the healthy reasons to try again with your ex (love, companionship, shared interests), you can answer the “Should I get back with an ex” question with a careful “maybe.”
Your reasons for getting back together matter, but you also need to examine how you broke up. This boils down to 5 possible outcomes:
1. She broke up with you, but still feels attracted to you.
If your ex left you but wants you back, she either found out that the new guy she was seeing behind your back wasn’t as good as he seemed, or she’s learned to see you in a new light. She isn’t too blatant about it, but she’s texting occasionally and reminding you of how good things were before. She isn’t offering sex or flirting, but she’s reminding you of the lovey-dovey times you had together.
Women who leave their men and then come back want to re-enter the relationship on a stronger footing than they left it. Your ex has likely hooked up with another guy (or guys) who didn’t give her the stability she expected. (Some guys will say anything to sleep with a woman and then change their tune.)
She’s contacting you now to see how needy you are. If she can’t get that “better” guy (better in her eyes for now at least), she’ll settle for you – as long as you give her more power this time. This means doing the things she wants to do, having sex only when she’s in the mood, and probably giving her more control over your “mutual” finances.
Be extremely careful about getting back with your ex in a situation like this. Not only will she treat you poorly – she’ll probably cheat on you with that attractive guy who doesn’t want to play the role you’re playing.
Think long and hard about moving on and cutting off contact for good.
2. She broke up with you and has lost her attraction for you.
If you’re asking, “Should we get back together” when you know your ex isn’t attracted to you, you need to work on becoming a more attractive man before going back to her. You may be thinking it’s a good idea to stay together for family, cohabitation, or financial reasons – but none of these justify the years of unhappiness that await if the attraction can’t be rebuilt.
Find ways to take care of your family without living in the same place too. Move in with a friend (or a family member) and get back on your feet. Focus on your career, get a promotion or a new job, and support yourself without a partner to lean on.
Leave her behind, for a while at least, and start to build a better life that you can just continue with if it doesn’t work out with her.
3. You broke up with her, but still feel attraction for her.
If you’re asking, “Should I get back together with my ex” after you broke up with a woman for behavior reasons (not sex, right), be careful. She was treating you poorly out of disrespect. She thought you were weak and would put up with whatever she dished out.
She was wrong. At a certain point, you decided enough was enough and gave her the boot. Now, you miss her and want her back. Make your decision to give it another shot based on this vital question:
Have you changed enough for her to see you in a different light?
Change means time. Ask yourself some more basic questions: Did you enforce a strict “no contact” period? Did you take enough time to get yourself together after getting back in touch with her? Did you assert yourself properly when she tested you by returning to her old behavior?
If you can honestly say you’ve changed, ask a friend to cosign your decision. It’s easy to lie to yourself, but your buddies know what you went through with this girl, whether she’s right for you, and if she’s demonstrating enough respect for you to justify getting back together with her.
Invite her out for a drink with you and your friends. She’ll jump at the chance to rejoin the gang and you and the guys can secretly observe her behavior. If she wants things to go back to the (bad) way they were, you’ll know. Likewise, if she truly wants to be with you and treat you right this time, her attitude change will shine through.
Be careful, but give her a chance.
4. You broke up with her and have lost your attraction for her.
If you don’t want to be with this woman, why do you want to get back together? For the kids? To avoid a costly divorce? For companionship?
Some couples accept their loss of attraction and continue on as business partners, parents, etc. Consider House of Cards’ Francis and Claire Underwood (and the real-life power couples on whom they were based).
However, the danger of such a relationship is that you still care for each other to some degree. Think back to your previous exes – and even one-night stands. Surely, you still have a small bit of feeling for them – it’s only natural. We care for everyone in our lives, even if we’ve left them behind.
In an open relationship, jealousy often rears its ugly head. Even if you and your ex don’t feel sexually attracted to each other, you still want attention. You still want loyalty. You still want love.
Stay together with your ex without sex only if you’re sure neither of you won’t get jealous. Remember – you can still be business partners after severing your marital ties. If you aren’t married, remember you can still be friends and partners in childrearing after moving on with your lives.
5. You broke up in a mutual fight (if you had the passion to fight, you’re still attracted to each other).
If you’re thinking, “Should I get back with my ex-girlfriend after that big fight we had?” you’re in luck. This category has the best chances for success and happiness.
“Should I go back to my ex?” doesn’t mean weakness if you both had the passion to fight it out. Follow the instructions in this article (and this guide) by enforcing a “no contact” period, enjoying “sex with the ex” without getting back together, and giving yourself time and space to grow up.
Growing up and maturing means dating and having sex with other people. Stay in touch with her and even sleep with her sometimes – but don’t get back together too soon. The best way to get back together with your ex is to rise up and become a better man. Improve your career and your social life. Make her work to get you back.
Go out, even if you’re sad. Especially if you’re sad. Live it up with your buddies. Meet other women. Let her see your Facebook and Instagram feeds full of the fun you – not the sad you. Let her and her friends discover pictures of you having a good time with other guys (and gals) instead of moping around.
It takes a lot of courage, but you can project the unaffected, confident image you need to get your ex back, keep her once you have her, and make sure you get what you deserve the next time around!