Don't Take Your Ex Back Unless He Agrees To 5 Specific Things

Here's how to make sure he's really going to change.

Last updated on Feb 22, 2024

couple Blake Carpenter / Unsplash

Why does it happen so often that couples break up and get back together?

One reason is that the relationship could have worked the first time, but the partners were not willing to put enough effort into it. They thought it would just be easier to break up and find somebody new. Another reason is that after trying and failing more relationships, they suddenly remember how warm and connected they used to feel with that person.


Human memory tends to remember good things and conveniently forget bad ones, and we tend to idealize our old flames and expect that the next time everything will work out. But will it really be better? Should you get back together with your ex? Based on my professional experience, you should only do it if you lay out some ground rules. You don’t want to fall into the same pitfalls again and again. 

Here are 5 things your ex must agree to before you take him back:

1. He will show real initiative to make the relationship work.

Whether it is planning your next vacation together or deciding to move to a different neighborhood, a lot of my clients complain that once they are settled in a relationship, the guys become too comfortable. He just wants to watch TV and be intimate sometimes, and nothing else. Meanwhile, she’d like to go on hikes, sightseeing, live performances, exhibitions, etc.


So, don’t forget, ladies, before you take your ex back, establish that he needs to take an active part in making plans, big or small.

RELATED: 6 Telltale Signs It's Not Over Between You And Your Ex

2. He will prioritize romance in your relationship.

Almost all the ladies feel a lack of romance in their relationships, but the truth is that guys also would like to be more romantic and experience it with their partner, too. They simply don’t know how! Let him know what it is that makes your heart melt, whether it is bringing you flowers occasionally, complimenting your looks, sending flirty texts throughout the day, or something else. 



Don’t forget, ladies, that you need to be romantic with your man as well. It will pay off to send him little sweet messages every now and then and surprise him with getting a new copy of that magazine he likes.


3. He will be 100% willing to talk about money, especially if you're going to live together.

Money problems can make or break any relationship, and it may have played a grave role in bringing yours to the end in the first place. You need to be very open about your budget: how much each of you is going to contribute to rent, utilities, and other household expenses, percentage-wise or based on your incomes proportionally? Don’t forget about your entertainment costs, either. Whether you are taking turns paying when you go out, or you have a separate fund for it, or he pays for dinners and you pay for movies — whatever works for you — please, discuss it before you plunge into re-inventing your relationship!

RELATED: 6 Conditions That Must Exist For You To Be Friends With Your Ex

4: He will communicate better this time around (and so will you!).

It is impossible to underestimate the role miscommunication plays in failed relationships. Communication is everyday work! You can't worry about it only when there's a problem. 

Follow the main principles of listening to each other’s point of view and trying to understand what your partner means. Try not to fall into self-defensiveness or criticize each other, and instead take a short time-out and ask yourself, "Is it really what he wants to convey?" If in doubt, simply ask! Don’t be afraid to ask! 




This goes both to girls and guys. Try to be open and non-judgmental, and your relationship will flourish!

RELATED: 11 Psychological Tricks To Make Your Ex Regret Losing You

5. He will share his intimate needs openly, and be open to hearing about yours.

Let him know if you felt before that something was lacking in your love-making. Tell him if it used to be too boring, or you wanted to experiment more, or if you needed more (or less) foreplay or to try new positions. Talk about who should be initiating it and how often you’d like to have it. Maybe you’d like to do it but not necessarily in the bedroom. This would be a good time to discuss it.


Do not forget to listen attentively to your partner’s opinion. Remember that in the relationship, physical intimacy is a very important aspect, and understanding both of your needs will help you to succeed!

It may be true that you do have a good chance to re-invent your relationship with your ex.

After all, you share a common history and already know a lot about each other, which is priceless. However, you do not want to fail for the second time — but it IS possible not to!

Follow the five ground rules described above, and do not hold back. If you are very open about expectations in every side of life, you can succeed at getting back together!


RELATED: 10 Signs Your Ex Will Eventually Come Back

Lana Cole is a licensed marriage and family therapist who helps couples reconnect, boost intimacy, and improve their communication to create happy, long-lasting marriages.