How to Repair Your Broken Long-Distance Relationship

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How To Fix A Relationship: Fixing Long Distance Relationships
You and your long-distance partner have broken up... now how can you win him or her back?

If you and your long-distance partner have broken up, things may seem fairly hopeless. You may be running out of ideas, and wondering if it's even going to be possible to win him or her back and remove that "ex" tag from their status. Granted, in some cases, it may be best to focus on moving on. But there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of rekindling the romance and winning your ex back, even when they live hundreds of miles away.

First off, there's one very important thing you need to understand: you can't convince your ex to take you back. I know that you may desperately want to reach out to your ex and tell them how much you still love them, and you may be tempted to beg for another chance, but trust me, there simply aren't any words that can change your ex's mind. That's especially true if they live hundreds of miles away. Relationships and romantic attraction are natural, organic things. However, you can't make your ex fall back in love with you using words; it has to happen on its own.  So, no matter how badly you may want to call and say sorry or tell your ex how much you miss them, that won't help your cause.

Where to begin the process of getting your long-distance girlfriend/boyfriend back will depend on two things:  

  1. How long its been since your breakup?
  2. How serious was your relationship?

If it's only been a few days or maybe a couple of weeks since the breakup, the first step is to go through a period of no contact. This means completely ignoring your ex for around a month or so. The point of this is to show your ex that you're moving on, and that you're not going to wait around and hope that your ex changes his or her mind, making it appear as though there's tons of other people eager to take their place at your side.

During the no contact period — and even after that, once you begin to talk with them again — you should be using social media, mutual friends, and any other means at your disposal to subtly convey messages to your ex.  For example, since you want your ex to think your life is great and you're already recovered from the breakup, you might consider posting some photos of you and some friends (preferably friends of the opposite sex) on Facebook. You may also chat up a mutual friend and casually mention that you've been dating a few other people and that you're really enjoying the single life. Don't make this attempt to incite jealousy or convey a message to your ex obvious; it needs to be subtle. But it's definitely important to let your ex know, in an "under the radar" manner, how great your life has been since the breakup, and how quickly you're moving on.

When it's time to start talking to your ex again, I recommend beginning with a really fun, positive, and brief message (a text message, social media message, Skype message... even an email is OK). With this first message, keep it really short (no more than a few sentences) and make sure it's fun, upbeat, and interesting. Don't try to bring up anything serious, don't start any drama, and don't say something dull and meaningless like "hey, what's up?."

With this first communication, all you want to do is to get your ex to remember how much fun life was when you were there to talk to them every day, and hopefully get a reply. You may need to send this type of message a few times over the course of a month or so, making sure that you keep the conversations fun and interesting each time. 

Depending on how your ex responds, and how things go from there, it will hopefully eventually lead to some curiosity and interest on your ex's part, and help him or her let go of some negative memories and forget the reasons they decided to break up with you. Try to be "in control" of these conversations (meaning you dictate when they happen, what you talk about, and when they end). Keep it brief, don't get carried away and try to talk your ex's ear off.

Once you've re-established rapport with your ex, and had a few fun and interesting conversations via text message or online chat, then it's time for either a Skype call / webcam chat or, ideally, an in-person meeting.

An in-person meeting is definitely preferable to a Skype or Facetime webchat, but if you do arrange to meet your ex in person, it's crucial that you have legitimate excuse for being in their city. You don't want your ex to think that you're simply going to his or her hometown just to meet them. It's always best to think of a legitimate excuse for being "in the area", which will allow you to invite your ex out for coffee to "catch up" while you’re in town.

Keep your meet short and sweet (whether it's in person or online via webcam). Make sure you"re friendly, upbeat, and positive about your life.  Don't talk about anything "serious" — talk about the NOW and talk about the FUTURE, nothing else.

You also need to add a little bit of a sexual element to it. No, don't try and have sex with your ex in the coffee shop — but if the opportunity presents itself, build a bit of sexual tension. This is the time to flirt a lot with your ex. Hold eye contact for a little bit longer. Touch them a lot in a playful, flirtatious way. Talk about sexy things and maybe drop a ‘naughty’ inside joke or innuendo. If they're being receptive to this, then really push it, but make it seem fun and do it almost in a joking way.

At the end of the day, you need to start building attraction again. After all, this is the essence and the backbone of relationships. So when you're with your ex again, everything that you do must be focused on creating sexual attraction with him or her. That's why in-person meetings with your ex will always be a lot better than online chats or phone calls. However you end up talking with your ex, remember that building attraction is the key to getting them to want you back, and you don't build attraction by talking about the past or bringing up old drama. Attraction develops naturally when you're having fun and you have good chemistry, so that's the goal of all encounters with your ex.

And finally, keep one very important thing in mind: no long-distance relationship can survive indefinitely; there needs to be a light at the end of the tunnel where you and your partner will live together and be together every day. It's a lot more appealing for your ex to get back together with you if you only live an hour apar. On the other hand, if an ocean and thousands of miles separate the two of you, then your ex probably won't be eager to start over again, knowing the same issues will continue to plague your relationship.

More how to fix a relationship advice on YourTango:

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Brad Browning

Relationship Coach

Brad Browning is a relationship coach and breakup expert from Vancouver, Canada.  He has 10 years of experience working with couples to repair and improve relationships.  Click here to learn about Brad's breakup and relationship coaching services.

Brad is also author of the best-selling "Ex Factor Guide" program, which teaches readers how to get their ex back.

He is a senior editor at LoveLearnings, where he writes about breakups and conflict resolution. Visit his YouTube channel for breakup and relationship videos.

Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Credentials: BA
Specialties: Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
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