by Jenn Clark
Actually move on and be happy – Listen, just because you think you want him back doesn’t guarantee he’ll come back. So you need to figure out life without him.
If you’ve read my articles before, you’ll know I’m not a big fan of repeat romances. As I often say, “Reruns are for television, not for relationships.” If you break up once, it might be for a very good reason. (And one that will, at some point, break you up for good.) So part of me is a bit hesitant to write this.
However, I know that sometimes break-ups are temporary rather than permanent. Sometimes we have to be apart to see how much we really do love and care about each other. I also know how awful heartbreak feels when the man you love has left you. And how desperately you’ll probably want him back. So let me help you out with that.
First off, if you think a break-up is around the corner (and it’s not what you want), I’m going to give you the secret for how to handle it. Are you ready? Because it’s important.
Don’t fight him on it.
That’s right; if he ends things with you, agree with him. When a guy wants to break up with you, the worst thing you can do is try to stop him. Getting upset or emotional will only drive him further away. In contrast, the best way to handle the actual break-up is to act like you’re on the same page as him. Saying “You’re right, we’re not meant to be” will cause him to doubt his decision much more than all the tears and anger ever will. So let him go….
Now the real fun begins. You’re devastated and all you can think about is how much you want him. You’re sure that if he just gave you and the relationship another chance, things would be different. So what do you do now? The first thing you need to do is really analyze whether you want to be with him for the right reasons. Very often, the basis of our hurt over getting dumped is rejection. It’s about our egos. So try to be objective. Do you want him because you don’t want to hurt and you want to feel wanted? Or do you want to be with him because you truly believe that he is the right guy and you just need to work through some issues, or have different timing, or another valid reason for being together?
If it’s the pain of rejection talking and you know in your gut he’s not “the one,” it’s time to move on. Deal with the heartbreak and find a man who brings you joy. It’s never worth it to waste time and emotions on men who aren’t a good match. But if you really do believe he’s the guy for you, it’s absolutely possible to get him to come around again.
It’s going to take a lot of inner-strength and self-restraint, but it can be achieved. But, let’s get this straight: You don’t want him back on his terms and his alone. Oh no, sister. You don’t want him back just for the sake of getting him back. You want him to want to be back with you. You want him to treasure you and never be stupid enough to let you go again. Right? Right.
So if this is the case, here is a five step plan to getting him back. If you really do want him…
Step #1. Beware of social media – When a break-up first happens, I’m normally a big fan of excommunicating him from your life. This means removing his numbers from your cell, unfriending him on Facebook, and whatever else you need to not see him or talk to him. But, if you do want him back, you shouldn’t do anything that he will interpret to be “emotional” or “psycho.” This may mean leaving him on your friend list. Beware, however, not to Facebook-stalk him. No pulling up his page every twenty minutes. And even if he starts to post pictures of himself with other girls, you have to pretend like you didn’t even see them. Or that you don’t care. Are you up for the challenge? If so, you’re a strong woman indeed.
Likewise, no snarky status updates allowed. You can’t write “Am now single again! And LOVIN’ it!!” He’ll see right through that tactic. No posts about your heartbreak, hurt, or anything else that he could interpret as referring to him. Don’t take a Twitter hit out on him and tweet to the whole world every horrible thing he did to you. In fact, you probably should just stay off Facebook and Twitter for awhile if you’re tempted to do any of these things.
What should you post? What you normally post. If you regularly take pictures of whatever you’re eating for dinner or all the shoes you want to buy, keep doing those things. Use social media as your friend, not your enemy. Show him that you are happily going on with your life and make him wonder whether you’re even thinking about him.
Step #2. Go no contact for 30 days – Oh, is this ever difficult. But it’s essential. During this time you are not allowed to call him, text him, email him, “like” a post of his… Nothing. Do not initiate any contact of any kind. Make him believe that he will never hear from you again.
Many relationship advice experts say that you should not even return his calls if he tries to get in touch with you during the “no contact” period. I disagree. Here’s my advice instead: If he does call you, don’t answer your phone. But if he leaves a voicemail, wait a couple of days and then text him back. Be brief but friendly. Write something like “Hey! Got your message. Been super busy! What’s up?” If he calls but doesn’t leave a voicemail, don’t bother responding. He’ll eventually call again. If he texts you, text him back after a day or so and maintain the light-hearted tone.
What is essential during the “no contact” period is that you should not get into a heavy conversation about the relationship or break-up. As far as he’s concerned, you are going about your life and doing just fine. Which brings me to…
Step #3. Actually move on and be happy – Listen, just because you think you want him back doesn’t guarantee he’ll come back. So you need to figure out life without him. Spend time with your friends, work hard at your job, find a hobby, volunteer. Create a full and satisfying life for yourself apart from him. A quality man doesn’t want to be with a woman who looks to him as her only source of happiness. A worthwhile guy wants a woman who is complete whether or not he’s in the picture. So use this time to work on yourself. When you enjoy your life and are content, people are drawn to you. You’ll meet new men (never a bad thing) and if your ex sees you moving on, this will usually draw him back to you. But most importantly, you’ll start to feel fantastic. And that’s what really counts.
Step #4. Don’t try to persuade, beg, or badger him back to you – When a man ends things, most women’s natural instinct is to try to “convince” him back. This can take a variety of forms. Arguments, tears, and crying are a couple of examples. You aren’t going to get very far with these tactics. He’ll either retreat even more or – worse still – he’ll give in to a certain degree. Try to wear him down and get him to change his mind by behaving like this and you’ll lose. Even if you “win” him back, he won’t be happy to be with you. Your relationship will suffer and it will be a matter of time before he’s running out the door again.
The fact is he’s probably expecting you to behave like this because it’s typically how women behave when they’ve been dumped. So do the unexpected and remain calm. By setting yourself apart, your status in his eyes rises. Getting back together needs to be his idea. He broke up with you, right? So if he wants to be with you again, he’s gotta work for it. Show him that you value yourself and won’t grovel to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you.
Step #5. Don’t use sex or any other form of manipulation – One of the worst mistakes a woman can make after a break-up is to have “ex sex” with a guy she still wants to be with. So often we’ll think, “If he just has sex with me again, he’ll want me back.” This is completely untrue! Men can have sex just to have sex; even with someone they once cared about. When women are in love or have deep feelings, we can’t. So don’t try to trick yourself that you’ll be able to do it. In fact, it will hurt you even more and make the scars that much deeper. Sex is not the way to warm up his now-cold heart. It won’t make him fall in love with you again. Not having sex (or any other physical contact) while you are broken up will actually make him want you more. That’s just how it works.
Likewise, trying to make him jealous usually backfires. Telling him you’re dating someone else or hooking up with other guys doesn’t work. Moving on and being happy doesn’t mean you should flaunt other men in his face. All that does is reflect badly on you and push him away. Think about it: If he was willing to let you go, he was willing to let another man have you.
Other manipulative techniques? Buying him gifts, writing him a sappy (or an angry) letter, baking him cookies. These are no-no’s. Just like you shouldn’t try to convince him back, you shouldn’t try to manipulate him back either.
You probably know my “goddess” approach to dating and relationships. It’s my opinion that a goddess would never want to be with a man who doesn’t want her. Even if you’ve been dumped, it’s not your job to work to get him back. It’s his job to realize he made a huge mistake. And these steps should help him to do just that. So hold out, be strong, and trust in things working for the best. If he really wants to be with you – and you decide he’s worth another chance – it will happen.
Jenn Clark is the author of the book “How to Be a Goddess (A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Woman Men Dream About…).”
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.