You’ve survived a bad break-up. Barely. And even though you’ve rented every Sandra Bullock and Meg Ryan movie you can find, hidden all of your old photos and Valentine’s cards, thrown away his favorite snacks and washed your hands of him… washed him right out of your hair… his memory still lingers. Or maybe it’s his t-shirt in your laundry basket- the one you can’t bring yourself to wash. Either way, you’re wondering if you’ve both made a mistake and you want another shot. You want a do-over and here’s how.
1. Accept. There’s a reason why you are not together now. Emphasis on the NOW. LATER is still up for grabs! Accepting the reality of the situation doesn’t mean you’ve shut him out of your life. If anything, it shows that you accept the need for the change, showing a level of maturity that will be respected and appreciated. Showing yourself in a positive, strong light will help you reach your end goal: Happily-ever-after.
2. Wait. I know. I know. That’s not what you want to hear. But it’s tough love time. Time heals and you both need a chance to get over the hurt. Calling too soon and begging for another chance will only chase your ex further away. You both need time to gain perspective. To understand what went wrong. Informing yourself of what worked and didn’t work will keep you from making the same mistakes and help make a second chance at love permanent. And- don’t forget- absence makes the heart grow fonder.
3. Silence. Seriously. Recently I saw a fictional App created by a character on HBO’s Girls. It’s called FORBID and it’s genius. The App forbids you from calling an ex’s number unless you pay ten dollars. I LOVE that idea and I hope an entrepreneur actually invents it. Breaking up is hard enough. Not calling or texting… even harder. No matter how many times you hang up, he will know it’s you. And what are you calling to say? You need him, miss him, want him back… ? You need to look strong, not needy. Mature, not rash. Most of all, you need to behave that way for your own sake. The opinion of you that matters the most, is yours.
4. Be the One He Loved This time around, there is no question mark. You know you have what it takes for him to fall in love with you. You just need to remind him of that. Think about how you have changed and what might have caused the change. Work on coming back to the person he or she fell for. Once you are that person again, you’ll be irresistible… you were the first time!
5. Plan Now that you’ve done the leg work, it’s time to strategize. Where can you meet in a casual, no-pressure way? Is there a coffee shop he frequents, a park he jogs in… you know your ex better than most, so use that knowledge and make yourself visible. It will remind him of what he’s missing. And don’t forget to look stunning!
6. Prepare Know what you will say when you first talk. These first few words are critical- no pressure J But seriously, steer clear of topics that are bound to stir up past arguments. Instead, focus on the kinds of conversations and topics you used to enjoy. Remind him of that, and he’ll want to keep talking. Lines of communication… restored!
7. Take Action Now that things are on a friendly level, suggest a casual, no-strings attached, get-together… emphasis on the fun. After weeks or months of feeling low, isn’t it time you laughed and had a good time? Enjoy being together and try not to think about a commitment, the future, or what it means.
8. Reach Out Send him an occasional, light-hearted email. It will keep you in his mind and establish a connection again in a non-threatening way. Best of all, it will increase the chances that your ex will start reaching out to you in return.
9. Listen As you begin to spend more time together, invite your ex to talk about how his feelings and why the break-up occurred. Instead of being defensive, learn from what says. You can either win this person back in your life, or win an argument by disagreeing with everything. My vote’s on winning back your partner since an argument won’t give you a back rub.
10. Next Level You’re already good at being a couple. What you weren’t so great at was being apart. Remind him of that by getting romantic again. If he’s receptive, then all systems go. Some great advice from my friend, Zee Monodee, is to, on the flip side, treat the situation like it’s a “new” romance with a stranger. “That person,” she advised, “is no longer the one you remember knowing.” It’s a great way to begin anew.
I would love to hear your stories and thoughts about the dos and don’ts of rekindling an old flame. Please post your comments below and enter to win a copy of New York Times bestselling author, and fellow Harlequin Heartwarming author, Roz Denny Fox’s amazing romance, THE BOSS NEXT DOOR, friendship bracelets, and an autographed bookmark of my upcoming Young Adult romance, CAMP BOYFRIEND, 7/2/13. On the back of the bookmark is a scan mark to download a free eBook of the prequel to the series, CAMP KISS.
To learn more about me, and my upcoming Harlequin Heartwarming, WISH ME TOMORROW, and Young Adult novels, please visit www.karenrock.com. I will post the prize winner on my author facebook page www.facebook.com/JKRockwriters tomorrow. Thanks so much J