Getting Back Together With Your Ex-
The odds that you’re going to get back together with your ex- and everything will be great are extremely low.
I know from deeply painful personal experience that getting back together with your ex- is the life-giving hope which every dumpee clings to at first, but there’s a reason I buried this section deep in the middle of this guide rather than at the front. I’ve read hundreds (thousands maybe?) of stories of dumpees who’ve spent weeks and months strategizing and hoping to get the ex- back, but it’s incredibly rare that it happens… and in the few cases that it does, it’s even more rare that it works out.
The observations I’ve made on this topic from my embarrassingly long and in-depth analysis of so many posts on the internet over the last year are this:
If it’s going to work, ALL the initiative and work of getting back together needs to come from the dumper. S/he is the one who dumped YOU, after all. No matter how much you think that begging, bargaining, calling, writing letters, being sweet, giving gifts, etc., will help convince the dumper… it won't.
Your ex- was with you in a relationship. Your ex- decided s/he wants out of that relationship. If your ex- decides that was a mistake, then your ex- needs to come to you, explain what happened, suck up his/her pride, apologize for the incredible pain you’ve suffered, and ask for YOU back. If there are issues s/he wants to address and sort out in a future re-relationship, it’s up to him/her to come to you and explain it.
Begging never works
Going to your ex- and begging, bargaining, and offering whatever changes is not going to help. It essentially never works, and in the few cringe-worthy cases I saw where there was a reconciliation, it was like a train-wreck you could see coming on from miles away: brief, pathetic, on a very short track to massive collision, and utterly destructive to the dumpee.
So protect yourself.
The reconciliations I’ve seen which work usually happen very quickly after the break up, quite often within hours or a few days. It’s usually a breakup driven by emotions raging, the ex- quickly realizes what s/he has done and comes quickly back and begs your forgiveness. Personally, I would never break up with someone no matter how emotional I am unless I plan to, so I would be very cautious about this type of person. But that’s how some people – and couples – are.
The odds of a successful reconciliation plummet after the first hours and days. Once it goes past that initial shock period, the ex- has had more than enough time to recover from any irrational, unintended breakup (to the extent those are even possible!).
S/he clearly doesn’t plan to get back together. Additionally, the pain that you feel as the dumpee will start swelling more and more at that same time, making it even less likely that a successful, rational reconciliation will occur.
Ex- using you
It happens very often that the ex- comes back to you partially, wanting some of the benefits of the relationship with you, but still doesn’t really want to actually get back together.
It’s hard to resist, because you want so much to be back together, and you think that maybe if you’re really perfect to your ex- and do everything s/he wants, then you’ll get back together.
I’ve seen many cases of dumpees who acquiesce to every request from the dumper: emotional support, sex, date to weddings and other events, etc. And it’s always, always so horrible to watch from the outside, because it’s so obvious that it’s going to end in disaster. And of course, it always does.
The ex- is just using you to feel better about him/herself, to transition into a life without you, get whatever benefits s/he wants without having to commit to a real relationship. And you allow yourself to become a prisoner of the vicissitudes of your partner's new life.
It’s so sad to see. And it always causes the dumpee more pain when it finally ends, destroys the self-confidence even more, and prolongs the healing process.
Don’t let this happen to you. If the ex- wants you back, s/he needs to do the work to make a full reconciliation and to start a new, real relationship. Anything less is just cruel, manipulative, and will leave you feeling much, much worse.
Very occasionally there are cases I’ve seen on internet forums where a reconciliation happens and it works out well. It’s usually after a long period of no contact: 6 months, 1 year or even more is common.
I’ve seen several situations of successful reconciliation where the breakup was for external reasons, for example moving away, new job, or stress from issues related to family and children, finances, job. In these cases, it seems the dumper feels the relationship is holding him/her back and wants to break up to work on the situation and find him/herself. After an extended period, there’s clarity in the situation and the dumper comes back.
These really can be joyous situations where the commitment was questioned, examined and then restored to even greater strength than if it had never been tested at all.
But please don’t get too excited and think this means it’ll happen to you. It happens so rarely. It’s usually for very specific life issues. The poster usually describes it as something like “a miracle" or “completely unexpected" or “amazing."
When you stop missing them is when they come back
Much more likely is what I’ve seen often on these boards. You beg, but no success. You then grieve so much and want so much that your ex- comes back to you. But s/he doesn’t. So you go no contact, spend months suffering and recovering and working hard to get well.
A long time later, the ex- has finally become just a painless memory and your life is going well again in all ways… and then out of the blue, the ex- shows up and wants to get back together. Maybe a new relationship s/he had has ended and the ex- wants your support in his/her own depression (the irony of being your ex’s rebound!).
But regardless of why, you’ve moved on, your life is better, and you realize that you don’t want to be back together.
That’s when you really know that you’ve healed.