There are a thousand ways to put a relationship on the rocks, and only a few ways to put them back together again. There’s always a possibility of winning back your ex, but in our quest to patch things up, it’s easy for guys to feel tempted to take drastic measures—manipulation, begging and so forth. Here are five things you should avoid if you hope to respark that old flame.
Making her jealous
You’re single now, so why not make a move on her best friend? This, more often than not, ends up making you look transparently manipulative (trust us, women know exactly what you’re up to) and a major creep. Even if you do manage to fool your ex into trying to win you back from another girl, when it happens, it will be a hollow victory. The ensuing relationship will be based on a lack of trust, and you’ll both be looking over your shoulders.
Promising her you’ll change
There are two reasons why this never works. For one, actions speak louder than words. Telling your ex that you’ll change is a lot different than proving it to her by finishing your studies, getting that promotion, or dropping a bad habit—so get on it, if you’re serious about winning her back. Secondly, there’s a chance that the breakup was a good thing. She may have broken up with you because you couldn’t or refused to change something fundamental to your being, such as your personality or career. Move past this moment in your life and find someone who accepts you for who you are instead.
Showing her what she’s missing
You’ll show her! Or maybe you won’t. Showing off just how well you’ve adjusted to single life can make you appear desperate for her attention and validation. Not only will she think you’re thirsty, thereby ruining your chances of winning her back, she’ll start questioning why you were in a relationship in the first place—were you really looking for a commitment, or did you care more about having her around just for the sake of having a girlfriend? Try carrying on without showing off instead.
Late-night calls will only make things worse, as will begging her to take you back. In both cases, you come off as needy and insecure. Your neediness will make her realize you needed her more than she needed you, which is a recipe for a bad relationship in the first place. This insecurity, left unchecked, can be infectious and debilitating, affecting your dating life long after your ex blocks your number. Self-doubt will make it harder for you to re-enter the dating pool, let alone make her second-guess breaking it off with you.
Making her feel guilty
Mind games are, to a degree, a form of emotional abuse, and will either push her away or create a very shaky foundation for getting back together. If you were the cause of the breakup, you may be tempted to make her feel guilty for leaving you—the length of your relationship, the times you’ve shared, the friends you have in common. If it was something that she did, you might try making her feel ashamed of what she’s done (thereby hindering her moving onto a new, meaningful relationship). If you’re really trying to get back together, it’s best to avoid any guilt trips and let time pass until you forgive one another. Only then can you start thinking about rebuilding.