Wanting a second chance with an ex means letting go. Are you ready for that?
If you’re hoping to get back together with your ex, this is for you. First, my story.
My front door slammed shut like a thunderclap.
A man I loved desperately, madly—my fiancé—who I didn’t want to admit was now my EX-fiancé, had walked out the door in a huff. And it was my fault.
A few hours earlier he had texted me and had come over under the really shady guise of "returning a textbook," from a college course taken years ago that I had mistakenly left at his house when I moved out.
When he came to the door, he looked stricken. I had been fantasizing for months about him bringing flowers and giving me a big speech about how he had made a huge mistake. I wanted him to tell me how he had changed, how he was an idiot and that he couldn’t stop thinking of me.
"Here," he grunted and thrusted the textbook toward my chest.
"How have you been?" I said, haltingly—wondering if there would be more to this awkward interaction.
"Ok," he said tentatively.
"I’ve been pretty good too," I said in a tone I hoped was cheerful and carefree.
"Oh. That’s good," he said, brightening up the smallest bit.
"Want to come in and catch up?" Figuring I had nothing to lose.
After a little bit of small talk, he looked absentmindedly in my direction and said, "I miss you."
"Well, you shouldn’t have given up then." Oh my goodness—why did I say THAT?
"I guess it’s for the best," he said sorrowfully.
I ended this embarrassing monolog with the statement, "Well, you’re probably happier now without me, anyway."
"I don’t know why I’m even here!" He said.
Then he took off. I beat myself up for weeks afterwards. At that point, I didn’t even understand why I had acted like that and couldn’t make heads or tails of why he had come over. I wanted him to “fight for us” but I acted totally repellent.
Later he admitted he had come over to feel out whether I wanted to reconcile, but I had seemed so bitter, he thought it was definitely over between us.
Now, I don’t share this story so that you cringe (even though I’m cringing). I share it to illustrate how even when we really want to repair our relationship with our ex, our hurt and anger over being dumped can sometimes take over and lead us to say totally ineffective things. Also, even though it looks like it in the movies, exes usually won’t beg to get you back or play into your fantasy about how your reconciliation will go.
If you miss someone and are thinking about getting back together, I want to save you from my mistakes. Let’s talk about what exactly happened here, why this is such a common cycle during a breakup and what to do instead.
Why Can’t Your Ex Beg You For Your Forgiveness?
Your ex MIGHT eventually realize they made a mistake. They might go out and date other people only to realize that the only thing they want in the world is another shot with you. They might actually feel the remorse that we so sorely hope for.
Exes RARELY act how we want them to, on cue. Unfortunately, two main problems prevent their grand return. Confirmation bias and pride.
In layman’s terms, "confirmation bias" means that once someone believes something to be true, they’ll look around for more evidence that confirms their belief. After a breakup, the person who made the decision to leave will look around for reasons that they were right to split up. When you mope around and then "share how you really feel" with them, this reinforces their decision to leave you.
This is why you can’t keep feeding them reasons to confirm that the breakup was a good decision—if you want them to change their mind, that is.
Next, no matter who made the decision to make a break, going back on that decision feels like losing they are face. It’s hard for anyone to eat crow and admit they were wrong, especially in a situation as emotional as leaving a loved one. Their ego won’t let them admit they were wrong directly 99% of the time. This is why exes usually do something bizarre like dig up an old, forgotten college textbook. Their contact feels like something that doesn’t make sense, not a grand gesture.
Drop the fantasy about what MIGHT happen between the two of you and embrace the reality that when/if they return, it’s more likely to sound like a whimper than a roar, even if they SHOULD apologize because they smashed your heart like a piñata.
Why Do Your Emotions Run Amok When You Actually Want Them Back?
When your ex puts out that feeler, it seems weak and confusing. On one hand, we might miss our ex terribly and want another shot.
On the other, there is an element of wanting to punish our ex for dumping us. We want them to grovel. We want them to bow and scrape and rue the day that they ever hurt us.
So What Do You Do About This?
Get clear on what you really want with your ex FIRST.
Do you truly want them back or are you in love with the idea of them?
Are you willing to forgive them?
Before you can act like the wonderful human being your ex fell in love with, you have to let go of the hurt and anger and align yourself with the goal. What is the goal?
Are you going to try for another chance? Or are you going to shut the door on your old relationship?
Only you know the answer to that one.
If you want another chance with your ex, get your free copy of my book Why Men Lose Interest and daily (almost) email series. It's time to stop wishing and hoping instead of taking action.
This article was originally published at Digital Romance Inc. Reprinted with permission from the author.