There are hundreds of what to do/what not to do regarding relationships. The most popular topic I’ve seen today are tips on getting your ex back. List upon list of the ways to get your ex back after you’ve broken up. The love of your life has left you and you want them back, here are ten easy ways to win them back.
They say it like it’s really as simple as ten easy things, as though the relationship’s problems will magically disappear if you follow these ten easy steps to get them back into your life. The lists read pretty much all the same, and have nothing to say about the consequences if these ten easy steps actually work.
I, personally, have one step to getting your ex back. One step, one word. Don’t. Now, a lot of you may think I’m crazy for insisting that you not take your ex back, or not try to get them back. People who look up the how to’s are often hurting and think there’s no one like your ex and no one will be as good.
Here are my main issues with that whole, “How to” when it comes to your ex.
Now, I’m not a getting your ex back expert. I haven’t ever gotten an ex back, but let me ask all of you that question. Have you? If you have, has it worked? I’m not saying it never works, but I’m saying that the outlook is probably bleak and success is probably quite rare.
I’m not basing this off of any other statistic than the people around me that I know. I have a former co-worker who plays the, “My Life Is Great Now, Don’t You Wish You Were In It” game with her ex.
They have the most toxic, back and forth relationship I have ever seen. It’s complete with constantly unresolved issues, restraining orders and 911 calls. You throw a couple kids into the mix and you have one hell of a Cops Season Finale Episode.
One woman I know is blackmailing her ex into staying with her via threat of child support (and some other dodgy things I won’t name here). That leaves her constantly paranoid that he’s going to cheat or leave her, so she literally won’t let him step outside of the house without her by his side. What kind of life is that? Both of them are miserable but can’t get away from the other.
Aside from it not working, think about the logistics of the How To Get Him Back steps. Number One of these lists are often to reinsert yourself into your ex’s life. Find out through a social networking site where he might be one day and mysteriously be there. Then act aloof, don’t act surprised or happy to see them. That’ll leave an air of mystery and make them wonder about you.
Putting myself in the ex’s shoes here for a moment, I can tell you that if I posted, ‘Going to Barnes and Noble this afternoon’ on my facebook, and one of my ex’s mysteriously showed up there the first thought going through my head would be, stalker alert!
I don’t know about most of you, but when I break up with someone, I try not to be places where I know they’re going to be. I try and avoid the north side of my city at all costs because I have an ex that lives up there and the last thing I want is to run in to him.
Secondly, act aloof. Pretend not to care about what your ex is doing there. Say hi, smile mysteriously and then walk away. I’m sorry but one, it’s hard to erase that desperate look in your eye.
By appearing a random place that you probably would never be on a normal day is one red flag. I’m also going to tell you, when you’re trying to look like you don’t care what they think, you usually look the exact opposite.
That presents my second major issue with that How To rule. Why act aloof? What happened to good old fashioned honesty. I don’t want to have to guess how someone feels about me. That makes me feel uncomfortable and makes most situations very awkward.
In my opinion, a lot of what goes wrong in relationships that cause this situation to possibly occur in the first place. Dishonesty leads to loss of trust, and loss of trust leads to a relationship crumbling.
Dishonesty comes in so many forms, from affairs to simply lying about your feelings. How can you make a life with someone you can’t be sure is going to tell you the truth.
So playing mysteriously coy is another form of lying, and would you want to be with a person who tries to get you back on those merits?
The next most common step is, be a friend. Listen to your ex, don’t offer a lot of details about your life, but be there for them to listen to how they feel.
Is this a new thing you’re doing? I mean, that should have been a given with the person you love. If you can’t count on your significant other to listen to you and be a friend to you, what’s the point?
If you’re finally using that tactic to “win them back” they’re going to expect it for the rest of the relationship. If you can’t be selfless enough to lend twenty minutes of your time to your significant other to be a friend, you shouldn’t be with that person.
The most common step between all of them is, Let your ex come to you. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but you’re not really letting your ex come to you when you’re showing up at all of his haunts, dressing slutty and dating his friends. Everything you’re doing, you’re doing to get his attention, and it’s all pretend. You don’t actually mean any of it.
People forget, they broke up for a reason. Did you break up because your ex was a cheater? Well what makes you think that they won’t do it again? The saying ‘Once a cheater, always a cheater,’ exists for a reason.
Answer yourself this question honestly, do you really trust them not to do it again? Would you trust their answer if they were out all night and didn’t pick up their phone?
Would you trust yourself to not go through their text messages or emails if given the opportunity, just because you trust them to know there’s nothing in there?
Did you break up because you don’t meet on very important common grounds like children or marriage? I can tell you from experience that no matter how many times you try to find common ground on issues like this, you can’t.
One of you will be sacrificing and that leads to resentment, which leads to unhappy relationships. If your ex caves on marriage, trust me, divorce will be in your future. There is no middle ground on this one. There is only one person getting their way.
Did you break up because your ex treated you poorly? Being away from you for ten days isn’t going to fix that personality flaw. Most of the time when your ex degrades you, calls you names, belittles you, it’s because they have very deep, emotional and psychological issues that they haven’t dealt with. Unfortunately for you, the older they are, the harder it is for them to move past it.
I could list off hundreds of reasons I’ve seen people break up. I broke up with exes for drug addiction (he’s STILL an addict), bi-polar (he’s still crazy and un-medicated and has gone crazy on women after me), cheating (last I heard he’s got a few more kids from a few different women outside of his current relationship), refusal to commit to marriage and didn’t want kids (last I heard he’s back with his ex wife).
None of these reasons are fixable reasons. Time proves that people don’t change as much as you want them to. If you’ve just broken up, you’re suffering from a fantasy that the relationship was better than it actually was.
You remember all of the good things, and forget all of the times you cried yourself to sleep at night because they were a huge douche.
You think, oh, if I just do this one thing different, it’ll be better. You have to remember that all of those things applied to your ex, applies to yourself as well. Humans, as we age, don’t change well.
We’re stuck this way, and only with very hard, dedicated work can we make small differences in who we are.
Does that mean we’re doomed?
No. Absolutely not. We may feel that way sometimes, but trust me, there IS someone out there who will love you for exactly who you are, without asking for you to change a single thing. What really needs to plague the internet articles are How To Have Patience.
Feeling alone makes us lonely and desperate and we want to go back to what’s comfortable, even if that comfortable thing was terrible for us.
It happened to me, believe me. I was lonely and sad, but I waited. I’m married now to a man who I don’t have to fight with. A man who loves me for who I am, who wants to spend his free time with me just because.
A man who respects me, who would never dream of calling me names or belittling me. A man who shares the same values on family and relationships that I do.
I’ve never been happier, and I’m not one in a million. I just had patience.