Yes, you’ve broken up, but is a relationship ever REALLY over?
You can toss out his sweatshirt, he can throw away the cards you gave him, but the memories you made together are not so easy to get rid of.
He’ll never be able to see you as “just another woman.”
In part of his mind, you will always be his girlfriend.
The strong emotional traces left by a relationship explain why so many exes get back together.
According to one small study, half of us have had an ex come back begging for a second chance. A third of men feel conflicted after they break up with someone and end up regretting it.
If there’s even the smallest chance that your breakup was a mistake—and that you’ll end up getting back together someday—you don’t want to burn any bridges.
You don’t want to do anything to push your ex further away.
If you want to keep open the possibility of reuniting, avoid making these 3 mistakes.
Not letting him go.
If you think breaking up was a HUGE mistake, of course you want to convince him of that immediately!
You want to tell him he’s WRONG.
That he’ll regret this.
That you were made for each other.
That he’ll never meet anyone like you again.
There’s one thing about arguing, though:
It often just serves to make the other person dig their heels in further.
What throws a man off guard is when you give him what he wants.
He wants a break? Okay. You don’t feel the same way, but you care about him so much that you want him to be happy, so you’ll give him what he’s asking for.
And then you follow through.
You give him a break. You stop following him on social media. You minimize the chances you’ll bump into each other. You delete his number if you can’t stop yourself from texting him.
And when he reaches out to you—because he says he wants to know you’re okay—you don’t jump to the conclusion that he still loves you and wants to get back with you.
Instead you remind him, “Hey, I love you a lot, but we’ve broken up. I wish you well. Know I’ll always care for you.”
And you send him on his way again.
Here’s what that does to him.
The reason he reached out to you was twofold. First of all, he’s still not sure whether he did the right thing. He feels guilty. He may even be hoping you’ll react angrily, so he can feel justified for ending the relationship.
The second reason he reached out to you is because he’s experiencing withdrawal.
You know how withdrawal feels. It’s what you’re going through right now. It feels like a great big gaping hole in your soul. It’s horrible.
Withdrawal is the reason an ex will reach out to you for sex even if he has no intention of getting back together with you. He wants to use you to temporarily relieve his pain, even though he no longer feels any responsibility for your feelings.
You don’t have to give him that.
Let him experience withdrawal from you without any Band-Aids (like catching up with you for a “friendly” chat).
The pain of withdrawal is the only thing that might teach him he should have never let you go.
Not focusing on your own healing.
Survival is the first order of business after a difficult breakup.
Once you get through that, it’s time to work on healing.
We don’t talk enough about the process of healing yourself after a breakup.
Ice cream, friends, and alcohol are stopgaps.
The work of healing is an inside job.
You will know you are healing when those intense emotions start to subside and become more manageable.
You no longer feel as if the breakup has broken you apart.
One of the most effective ways to heal a broken heart is to focus on filling that hole in your heart with love. The NON-romantic kind.
Love from friends and family. Love from a pet. Love from nature. Love from the universe. Wherever you can find it.
Then you’ll remember you’re always loved, man or no man.
When you’re not focused on your own healing, it’s tempting to try to ease your own pain by causing him pain. You want him to feel miserable, too!
So you say bad things about him, or you listen to your girlfriends trashing him, and at first it seems to help. You feel a little better.
But it doesn’t help you heal.
It just keeps the wound open.
You can’t heal by focusing on him. You can only heal by reassuring and caring for your sore, tender heart.
Don’t pump more negative energy into an already-painful situation.
The angry things that are said and done after a breakup can destroy any chance of ever getting back together again.
But if you stay positive, and you give him a break, and you remain unfailingly polite and firm with him…
Then those doubts he had about breaking up with you will continue to grow.
When the time is right, he knows how to find you.
And you’ll be ready, too.