6 Critical Do's And Don'ts Of Getting Your Ex Back

woman laying down sad

The question of how to get an ex back is often on the minds of many of the broken-hearted. Some of us know exactly what to do, others… well not so much.

So, we call our exes every hour on the hour, we communicate with them in every way possible, and we feel our blood boil the instant they post a "Happy birthday" on the social media of anyone who might be of interest.

In other words, we let our emotions guide us instead of our heads.

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Here are the 6 dos and don'ts of getting your ex back:

The truth about how to get your ex back isn't a one, two, or three-step process. Instead, it's a delicate tapestry woven together from what you do, and what you should never do.

How to get an ex back: What to do

With reconciliation in mind, there are certain things you should definitely do to help your ex regret their decision.

1. Do give them space.

The bad thing about the adage "Distance makes the heart grow fonder" is that know-it-all proverbalists can simply counter with "Out of sight, out of mind." But, when it comes to a breakup, the former is almost always more applicable. There are two reasons you need to give your ex space. The first is that distance and time actually give them a chance to miss you, something they can't do if you're calling nonstop or peering in their bedroom window. Second of all, when you don't beg, implore, or plead with them to come back to you, they begin to wonder if you've moved on. And, in the great tradition of wanting what we can't have, that makes them need you more.

2. Do change yourself.

There is a reason your relationship met a bitter end— you cheated or they cheated, you never listened or they never stopped talking, you weren't supportive or they started watching episodes of Snapped and taking detailed notes. It is rare that a relationship ends because of one person's role; rather, it takes two to tango. But, you can't change them; you can only change yourself. So, whatever it is you need to change, you best work on it as if your relationships depend on it (because, quite frankly, it does).

3. Do keep it cool.

There is no need to be overly cool when trying to woo back an ex, you don't need to start speaking in beat poetry or casually swinging your leather jacket around your shoulder whenever you get the chance. But, you do need to keep things casual. Instead of going from broken up to reconciled in ten seconds, take it slow. Go to coffee, talk on the phone, and have a few no-strings-attached simple dates. Too much pressure too soon makes the pot boil over.

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How to get an ex back: What not to do

Now that we know how to get an ex back, let's talk about how not to get an ex back. Some things go without saying— don't threaten, or pressure them.

A few other things you shouldn't do include:

1. Don't give them an ultimatum.

We all remember the episode of "Friends" where Rachel gave Ross a letter ("18 pages…front and back") full of "rules for reconciling." Ross' reaction to this letter was what you would expect— it did not go well. People don't like ultimatums; some will not respond to them purely out of stubbornness. Thus, keep the ultimatums off of the table, and in the trash can where they belong.

2. Don't act desperate.

Acting desperate may be the number one thing not to do in the How to Get an Ex Back Booklet; desperation is a color that doesn't look good on anyone. Instead, by being desperate, you give your ex the impression that they can do whatever they want, and you'll always be waiting in the wings. In essence, it gives them a free pass that really has no expiration date.

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3. Don't ask them to change.

As mentioned above, there's a good chance your ex was also to blame for your relationship's demise. However, asking them to change, at least before reconciling, will automatically place them on the defense. The defense isn't where you want them to be when you are trying to win them back. Instead, be sure that the only finger-pointing is aimed in your direction.

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Michael Griswold is a relationship and life coach who uses his expertise to help men and women heal broken hearts and find love again.