how to get your boyfriend back

Breakups are never an enjoyable experience. Even if the agreement to split up with each other and go your own separate ways was mutual, you could still find yourself missing your boyfriend deeply and wanting him back.

If you have gone through a breakup and are now regretting it and wondering how to get your boyfriend back, you can certainly take some steps. It is not usually easy or quick, but you may find that it is well worth it, and your relationship may well be even better than it was before.

How to know if you should get back together

Before you start taking the steps needed to get your ex-boyfriend back, you should make sure that it is the right course of action. Think about how you ended things—was it on good terms or on bad terms? Has anything happened since the breakup that may have changed things between the two of you? Did your boyfriend seem sad or unsure about ending things?

If your ex was upset or reluctant to end things, he was probably less confident that it was the right thing to do. If this is the case, it will most likely be easier to get him back than if he was much more decisive or even relieved to break up with you. Sometimes relationships ending is for the best for everyone involved. Other times, they end when they could have instead been fixed.

You should also think about why you are trying to get him back. What is it that you miss about your ex? Were you genuinely happy when you were together? Only you can know the answers to these questions. After a breakup, the first few days (or even weeks) are a good time to let your emotions out and consider these points.

If your ex has moved on and is now seeing somebody else, it is probably best to avoid trying to get back together. You should not sabotage someone’s relationship. If your ex-boyfriend is single and has made it clear that he wants to be single for a while, you should also respect this decision. However, if this is the case, many of these steps you can still take. He may one day change his mind, but it needs to be his decision, and he needs the time to come to it himself.

How to get him back in 10 steps

woman writing diary

If you have thought about everything and come to the decision that you definitely want to get him back, here are ten steps that you can take. The order of these steps has been chosen carefully; however, you may be able to take some of these steps simultaneously.

Do not rush through the steps as quickly as you can—take as much time as you need to effectively carry each one out. This process is a marathon, not a sprint, and rushing things can actually sabotage your chances of rekindling the relationship.

1. Think before you act

When your life has fallen apart, it can feel like you need to act quickly and decisively. However, this is usually not the best case. In fact, this is probably your body and brain going into “panic mode” rather than a rational course of action. The moments after a breakup can feel like withdrawing from a drug or medication. You became psychologically and emotionally dependant on the company of your boyfriend, and now that he has gone, your brain is screaming at you to get your ex back! It is also easy to worry and come to the worst conclusions—just because you haven’t heard from him for a while, it doesn’t mean he hates you; he may just need time to rest and think about things.

Acting too quickly without taking stock of the situation and not thinking about what is best to do can be disastrous. Don’t call your ex-boyfriend or bombard him with messages begging him to get back together. Remind yourself that there is no rush to act. Acting in haste can cause more harm than good and actually lessen your chances of getting back together with him. While grand gestures like showing up outside your ex’s house holding up a boombox often work in the movies, you are more likely to end up with a restraining order in real life.

Reckless behavior is not limited to just desperately trying to get your ex-boyfriend back. There are plenty of other impulsive decisions that people often make after breakups that are also damaging. I have seen many friends go through breakups and witnessed plenty of regrettable actions taken shortly after. Heavy drinking, insulting your ex, airing your dirty laundry on social media, and engaging in ill-advised hookups are all too common. None of these are likely to be productive in the long term!

The moments after a breakup can feel like withdrawing from a drug or medication. Click To Tweet

2. Keep a journal

While you are taking some time to think, you may still feel the need to get your thoughts out instead of bottling them up inside your head. While you probably shouldn’t contact your ex-boyfriend and share these difficult thoughts with him, it can help get them out, and doing this can also help you stay focused on your goal.

Keeping a journal (or even just the notes app on your phone) and writing down your thoughts about the breakup or anything else can feel therapeutic. Even if you do not share these with anybody else in the world, simply writing them down can make you feel a little better and make sense of what is going on in your head.

When it is time to speak to your ex-boyfriend again, having a journal to consult will allow you to explain your thoughts more easily. Write down messages that you may like to send to him in your journal before sending them via text, email, or social media. Leave it for a day or so and re-read it again before sending it. If it sounds awkward or unhelpful now that you are out of the moment, do not send it to him.

You can also use your journal to keep notes about things that you know he likes and finds attractive so that you do not forget them. If you have a memory of an incredible holiday that the two of you had together, you may find a chance to remind him of it and revisit his feelings for you.

3. Fix the problems that led to the breakup

Before you can get back together, you will need to know what problems caused the breakup in the first place and fix them. The best way to fix these problems will vary depending on what the issues are. Some problems may require a lot of hard work and self-improvement from one or both of you. Other issues may be pretty simple to fix together.

For example, if the reason for the relationship ending was one of you cheating on the other, the first step will be for that person to apologize to the other and take ownership of their mistake. If your ex-boyfriend was unfaithful to you, the ball would be entirely in his court here—you can’t force him to regret anything and may be better off moving on. If you cheated on him, you should reach out to him and apologize. It is usually best not to follow up on your apology straight away with a request to get back together. Doing this may seem like you are only apologizing because you want him back. Besides, he will also probably need time to process and think about things and forgive you in his own time.

If the problem seems to be something small or inconsequential, there may actually be an underlying reason beneath it. For example, if your boyfriend broke up with you because you spend too much time out with friends, the actual cause may be more complex. You spending time with friends was probably not the issue—the deeper problem may be that he felt neglected and lonely. Consider if you think this reason was justified or not. If you were frequently canceling plans with him to hang out with your friends, then this reaction is probably understandable. If, on the other hand, you only went out with friends once every couple of weeks and he still complained about it, he may just be a controlling person.

Sometimes breakup reasons are more complex and mutual. If the two of you want different things in life, consider if a compromise can be made. For some things, reconciling differences can be done. If one of you wants to live in the country and one in the city, you could compromise by looking at houses in the suburbs. However, some differences between partners, such as when one person wants to have children and the other doesn’t want to, may not be reconcilable.

Some differences between partners, such as when one person wants to have children and the other doesn't want to, may not be reconcilable. Click To Tweet

4. Look after yourself

If you want him to want you back, you need to make sure your life is in order. This means looking after yourself in every way—physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally. When you are putting your energy into getting someone back, it is possible to become too obsessive and neglect other important areas of your life. Living a full life is the best way to keep things in perspective and reduce your chances of doing anything reckless. If you do not look after yourself, he is unlikely to want to get back together with you.

Learning to love yourself is the first step to getting back on track. After a breakup, you often feel unloved and uncared for. This makes sense—an important person you looked to provide love and care no longer provides it. This means that you most likely need to step into that role yourself for a while—at least until you do get him back. Self-care is especially essential after a breakup. There are plenty of ways that you can practice self-care. Ensure that you get enough rest, take part in hobbies that you enjoy, spend time with loved ones, follow a healthy diet, and get enough exercise.

Inevitably, you will often think about your ex after a breakup (so don’t beat yourself up every time he crosses your mind!). However, take care not to spend all of your time doing this. Practicing self-care is one of the best ways to avoid falling into the trap of obsessing over him. You don’t want to get to the point where you neglect yourself and actually ruin your chances of getting back together.

5. Try not to act desperate

If there is one thing that is likely to drive an ex even further away from you, it is being desperate for his attention. However hard it is without these things, you must remember that desperation will make him even less likely to come back. Appearing desperate gives the impression that you cannot live without him, and you do not have a fulfilling life without him. These things are not attractive to most men and will not make them want to get back together with you.

It is perfectly acceptable and natural for you to miss him and feel lonely after the breakup. Bottling things up or refusing to accept your emotions is usually unhealthy. However, your feelings are best expressed in private to close and trusted friends or family members that you can safely vent to. You certainly shouldn’t share how you feel with people who may be likely to tell him about it. Whatever you do, do not share sad messages on public social media accounts.

Even if your ex-boyfriend is really missing you and wants to get back together, looking too desperate is not a good idea. If he thinks that he can have you back whenever he wants, what reason is there for him to put in the effort or change for the better? Of course, if you want him back, you shouldn’t go to the other extreme and push him away, but sometimes playing a little hard-to-get can work. Leave him wondering whether or not he has a chance to get back with you, and you may find that his interest quickly increases.

6. Enlist your friends to help

female friends

One of the aspects of life that you shouldn’t neglect after a breakup is your social life. Spending time with your friends and loved ones is a great way to look after yourself. Your friends may even be able to give you useful advice on your situation and how to win him back.

Your friends may be able to offer different perspectives on the breakup that you may not have considered. They may have noticed certain things that you did or said that may have driven him away, and they may be able to help you to plan your strategy for winning him back! Friends can be very helpful in this situation, especially if they are mutual friends that may influence your ex’s decisions. Friends may be able to “accidentally” let slip some impressive facts about you to him or arrange a party where you “just happen to bump into each other.”

There is another benefit to having an active social life after a breakup. Most people are naturally more attracted to people who are sociable and have friends. If your ex-boyfriend sees that you live life to the max with your friends, he is more likely to feel like he is missing out on your company than if he hears that you are doing nothing.

7. Show dignity instead of drama

One of the critical things to remember when trying to work out how to get your ex back is to avoid drama as much as possible. Although letting him see that you are thriving without him (or at least appearing to) is an excellent way of making him want you back, you don’t want to take things too far. One of my guy friends received a picture message from his ex once. The picture was a photo of her kissing another guy. He asked me why she would send him this, and I replied that she was probably trying to make him jealous. It certainly worked in annoying him, but it did not make him want to get back together with her. If anything, the opposite happened—his exact words were, “I really dodged a bullet there!”

Drama is not attractive at all to most men. Acting undignified or even spiteful is likely to permanently sever any chances of getting your ex back. Even if he forgets or forgives this kind of behavior, his friends and family will probably hear about it, and chances are that they will remember. His friends and loved ones will want the best for him and likely advise him to move on from you or even cut all contact whatsoever. Even if they don’t do this, it can still have serious effects. Do you really want to get back with him and a few months later be socializing with his family and knowing that they all remember the drama you caused? Don’t burn bridges if you want to get your ex-boyfriend back.

One of the critical things to remember when trying to work out how to get your ex back is to avoid drama as much as possible. Click To Tweet

8. Flaunt your attractiveness

So, you’ve taken time to think about what went wrong, you’ve made the changes you need to make, and you have surrounded yourself with friends and activities. At this point, your life is looking like an appealing prospect for him to be a part of. However, there is still an important step that can really seal the deal.

Working on yourself and changing your life for the better is essential, but there should be something a little extra to grab his attention. Removing all of the “red flags” of taking you back is not always enough—you need to entice him in so that he really wants you back. This means engaging with his more primal desires. His mind may be telling him that going back is a good idea, but people don’t just listen to their minds when choosing a partner. You have to engage his heart and other areas of his anatomy!

Let’s not beat around the bush here—you need to look your best. It is common in long-term relationships to gradually stop seeing your partner as a sexual being, leading to attraction decreasing and relationships ending. You need to remind him of what attracted him to you in the first place. Think of how you used to dress and act when you were first dating him. You probably put in more effort into your appearance and your conversation when you were actively trying to impress him. What clothes work best for each person will vary, but don’t be afraid to dress a little sexier or more glamorous than usual. If there are photos taken of you that he might see on social media, even better.

It is not just your appearance that can help you get his attention. The scent is an essential factor in attraction. If you still see him in person, his favorite perfume can really help remind him of what he is missing. Acting a little more flirtatious (not just to him but also in general) can also work wonders. Whatever else you do, you must come across as laid-back, happy, and someone who is fun to be around. A combination of these things can make him desperate for your attention.

9. Keep it cool when you speak to him

You have followed all of these steps and finally managed to get your ex-boyfriend to want you again. There is a good chance now that he will be the one to reach out to you, either via text, phone call, social media, or in person. You may also happen to bump into him by chance if you live in the same area.

If neither of these happens, you may need to reach out to him yourself. Whoever breaks the silence is essential to keep cool and strike the right balance between uninterested and too keen. You want to give enough signals that you ignite a spark of hope in him that he could get you back. However, you don’t want to be too keen, even at this point now you have his attention! Be calm, friendly, and subtly flirtatious if you can.

If he suggests meeting again, choose somewhere casual like a cafe in the daytime rather than somewhere more intimate or high-pressured. When you talk to him, you do not need to include all the details of how much you have struggled without him, and you should avoid lying or trying overly hard to impress him. Don’t think that mentioning dating, kissing, or sleeping with anybody else (whether it is true or not!) will make him desperate for you. On the other hand, don’t interrogate him about these things either.

Although you should stay cool and not show all of your cards straight away, and be as honest as possible. After all, you do want to get back together with your ex, and he needs to be aware that he has a chance of making this happen.

10. Start off slow when dating him again

Whether he is certain he wants to restart the relationship or just cautiously willing to give things another chance, this next step is crucial.

It may be tempting to jump straight back into a relationship with him and carry on where you left off (after all, this is what you tried so hard for). However, there are dangers of being too eager and rushing things. Firstly, you don’t want to appear obsessed or desperate. If you drop everything else in your life instantly to return to him as soon as he gives you a chance, this can spoil the image of a happy, healthy person that you worked so hard to build. This can lead him to lose interest again quickly and regret his decision. If you want to get him back, you should, of course, accept his offer. However, you should make sure that he doesn’t take your interest for granted or think that you made it out of desperation or loneliness.

After a long time spent trying to get him back, you may just want to return instantly to how things were before the breakup. This may not be possible and often isn’t desirable. Starting off slow can be much better for your relationship in the long-term. Avoid spending every day together, and treat it like you are dating a new partner for the first time. Don’t take him for granted or let him take you for granted—you should both put in the effort to attract each other, respect each other, and have fun.

How to stay together once you get him back

couple in the street holding hands

If you have successfully managed to get your ex back, congratulations! However, the process doesn’t stop here. The chances are, even after all of the work you have put in, you will still encounter some of the problems that led to the breakup in the first place. You need to be honest with each other about these problems, make a plan of how they will be fixed, and what to do if they arise, and both stick to it. Making a relationship work for the long run requires effort and care on both sides.

If the breakup was your fault, you should let him know that you are genuinely sorry and take steps to avoid the same mistakes. If it was his fault, you should expect this from him and accept nothing less. In most cases, the end of a relationship is not entirely just one person’s fault, and compromises will have to be made. Honesty is everything at this stage. The two of you will probably need to have a serious discussion about what went wrong this first time and how it will be better this time. Don’t ignore any red flags—you don’t want to end up with broken heart again.

Keeping things exciting is essential to avoid attraction declining. This may mean trying out fun new date ideas, new things in the bedroom, or just being a little spontaneous every now and then. The perfect balance between comfort and excitement is what keeps a man interested for many years.

Of course, you can never be sure that a relationship will last forever, but taking these steps is vital if you want to increase the chances of succeeding. Many couples who have been married for many decades have had tough times and periods of separation. In some cases, these are what actually made the relationship stronger in the long run.

Now that you know everything that you need to know about getting your ex-boyfriend back, you are ready to put these steps into action. However, you should always respect his decisions and remember that no technique will work on everyone all of the time. Having a healthy and happy relationship with anyone, whether it is your ex or someone new in your life, requires you to love and look after yourself. Whatever you choose to do, you should live life the right way if you want the right boyfriend.

Brenda is relationships and lifestyle writer, coffee enthusiast, and a lover of new experiences. You’ll usually find her in a coffee shop with her laptop and a flat white scribbling down an article or searching for the next travel destination.