How to Get Your Ex Back (a Step by Step Guide)

advice: relationship lauren gray

Well, the worst happened. They broke up with you. This is about as painful and confusing as it gets.

I mean, is it really the end or can you reconcile?

I believe this is a beautiful opportunity for greater love and relationship success if you handle it right, and I’m going to prove it to you.

In this post, I’ll give you a step-by-step guide to get your ex back so you can walk away with full confidence that you know exactly what to do for your relationship.

Let’s do it!

Hi Lauren,

How can I reconcile with my ex-boyfriend after he broke up with me? He dumped me after being together for 3 years. I’ve given him "space" for 2.5 days with no contact (no more begging or trying to change his mind). Now he sends me an email to see if I'm "ok." Do I respond or stick to some "30-day rule?" What type of contact is okay?

How do I win back my ex? And how long do I wait for him before I move on? 

– Brooke


To “30 Day Rule” or Not to “30 Day Rule?”


Rules? Eh, they’re really more like guidelines, aren’t they?

But in general, yeah, it’s a good idea to give a relationship space after it goes through something like this. It gives you a chance to cry, to pamper yourself, and to reflect on the relationship. This prevents you from just throwing yourself at him with the same tactics that got you into this mess.


What Type of Contact Is Okay After a Breakup?


Don’t initiate any contact.

Be responsive but don’t pursue.

Pursuing looks like asking questions about his life, about your relationship, or about your breakup (why? why? why?).

Let it be a mystery to him what your feelings are but let it be clear in your responses that you’re not mad at him.

Don’t actually tell him, “I’m not mad at you.”  Show him by being friendly and positive in your responses.


How Do I Win Back My Ex?


Well, you can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. So a little distance, some new insights, and perspectives are in order.

Educate yourself on what went wrong and how you contributed to it.

At this point, I recommend grabbing a copy of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, Mars and Venus on a Date, as well as our free course: How to Get Everything You Want in Relationships.

As you read these books, highlight them, and take notes. When you take our free course, fill out the worksheet exercises. This engagement will build the foundation for your secret weapon and ultimate persuasion tactic for winning your ex back.


Your Secret Weapon and Ultimate Persuasion Tactic


An apology letter.

Here’s an example apology letter that an actual client of mine sent to her ex-boyfriend. She did such a great job and I’m so proud of her! (I removed all of the identifying details for privacy purposes).

“I’m sorry for how I contributed to the unhappiness in our relationship. I recognize now that I’ve said and done things that have pushed you away.

I’ve ordered 3 relationship books and I’m ready to learn. I realize now I’ve unknowingly pushed you away with my mistakes. I’m very interested in learning lessons on how I can do it better next time, whether it be with you or someone else in my future.

Some of my mistakes I’ve learned so far are:

I nag and complain too much.

I look to you too much for my happiness instead of having more of a life.

I don’t take enough responsibility for my own happiness.

I get mad when you take space for yourself.

I don’t ask for what I need, I just get upset when you don’t give it to me.

I’m really seeing things differently now and I think I can make a change. Would you be willing to grab a cup of coffee with me and talk about some of these things?”

Just remember that this letter and this conversation, IF you want a snowball's chance in hell of getting back together, needs to be about what you can do differently — not what he can do differently.



How Long Should You Wait Before You Give Up on Him and Move On?


No matter how great your letter is, there’s no guarantee that he’ll come back, and there’s no exact time for when you “should” give up.

The truth is, giving your ex space now is your best chance of getting him back later. 

The State of California doesn’t finalize divorce until the couple has been separated for 6 months. This is because the majority of couples change their minds and get back together within 4-6 months.

What happens during this time is that they become less dependent on each other, which takes away any feelings of blame and neediness. Suddenly they begin to feel how much they love their partner again.

This period of time is helpful for him to find his love again so that he can release his blame.

It also can give you an opportunity to transform a part of you that is too dependent on him. This is the time to connect with your self-sufficiency, and your ability to make yourself happy. Even though you’re not talking to him, you’re connected to him and he will feel it.

In the presence of hurt, he can only feel blamed. But as you heal your hurt, it frees him to come back to you.


A Breakup Is an Opportunity for Greater Love and Success


Breaking up brings you to a crossroads.

You can either get back together and make things better than they were before or move on to a new relationship. Either way, it’s an opportunity to have a more loving and successful relationship in your future.

It may be that this man cannot make you happy. If you believe in your heart that he has to change in order for you to be happy in this relationship, it will never work.

If you’re genuinely happy with him and you’re not demanding more from him than what he’s available to give, then there’s a chance it can work.

Either way, this breakup, no matter how painful it feels, is a wonderful wake-up call. A call to learn more about successful relationship skills so that you can have more loving, supportive, and successful relationships in your life.


With love,


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