8 Date Doctor secrets:

How to get back with an ex!

German relationship coach Emanuel Albert, known as Date Doctor Emanuel, gives away some of the most important secrets to his method of getting back together with an ex.

There is a lot of advice out there on how to get back an ex. Some advice sounds straightforward, some is a little more unexpected. In the following text I have compiled my 7 most important secrets, you need to know, if you want to get back in a relationship with your ex. The eighth and final secret is the most important for one reason: If you don’t stick to it, all your success in winning back your ex will be over in the blink of an eye. I want you to build happy, lasting relationships – my 8 “ex back” secrets can help you reach this goal together with your ex.

Secret no. 1: You need to regain power to get back your ex!

Power is a sticky term, used in politics and the business environments. But power dynamics also always unfold in relationships between two (or more people). Now that you are asking yourself how you can get back with your ex, chances are you currently have less power over the situation. Short-term this can even help you: a low sense of power can help you take your ex´s perspective and understand the reasons for the breakup. On the long run, however, you will want to tackle this power mismatch.

As long as you are at the bottom, your ex will believe that he or she can have you back any time. There is no sense of urgency, no fear of losing you. Especially if your ex has narcissistic tendencies and you are wondering how to get your ex back, tackling this power mismatch is important for you!

I want you to actively think of areas in your life, where you have a sense of power. First and foremost coachees of mine will think of their work. Not only people in leadership positions have a sense of power at work. When you work in a large team, you can have a sense of power thanks to your expertise in a certain topic. People who are self-employed realize they have a lot of freedom in their working hours and that gives them power. 

Perhaps your status as a valued member of your community gives you a sense of power. You may feel powerful when you reach your new running goals, or when you give a friend helpful advice. Feeling empowered arises from a vast range of situations and interactions. 

The lack of power you feel towards your ex is only one specific context of many! Go on: write down all the other contexts you can think of and actively seek them out over the next month!

Secret no. 2: Why saying “I miss my ex” and “I still love my ex” is valid!

I have been rejected and dumped by women I was very much in love with, and I believe that it is okay to acknowledge these feelings. Especially when friends or family simply tell you to “forget them” and “move on”, it is easy to feel misunderstood. 

In order to get back your ex, it is crucial that you tackle your sadness and broken heart head-on. If you still find yourself controlled by negative thought spirals, or you simply can’t seem to stop crying, you will find short-term relief in distractions. Your hobbies, friends, and exercise regimes can be real life-lines and should not be neglected. Take the time to write down a weekly plan of activities… and then stick to them! Tuesday comes around and you feel like burying yourself under a pillow fort? Too bad, your weekly plan has you meeting your friend Dave for table tennis. It’s the weekend and all your friends are busy? Luckily you have planned for this and have noted in your calendar that you will deep clean your flat and get rid of all those things that remind you of your ex!

Distraction is valuable. But it can only go so far. 

Especially in the early days I recommend setting time aside to just feel your sadness. When coaching clients, my team and I never want to risk simply pushing real feelings aside and having to deal with them later, when they return with much more force. It might feel strange at first but many of my clients have good experiences when they actually “schedule” time to really sink into their sadness:

Select a song that reminds you of your ex, sit down somewhere comfortable, and set your phone timer to 10 minutes. – 10 Minutes; that is all the time we are allowing for this negative state. You can cry and swear and think of all the things you miss about your ex. As soon as that timer sounds, you have to stand up, wash your face, and move on with your day!

Because this exercise can be extremely intense and risks you feeling a little bit worse for a while, please only try this exercise in a safe environment and never just before bedtime!

Secret no. 3: You might not know the real reasons for the breakup!

There are always surface reasons for a breakup. Your ex may have told you that she feels neglected. Or your ex boyfriend simply told you, he didn’t love you anymore. But you have to dig deeper!

One of the secrets to getting back an ex lies in your improved understanding of the variables that led to the breakup. The majority of my coaching sessions involve some form of revelation when it comes to the alleged reasons for the split. 

An ex feeling neglected may actually stem from her own lack of self-worth and feelings of envy towards you and your large circle of friends. The boyfriend who claims he doesn’t love you anymore, may be misinterpreting your dry spell in bed and feel disconnected to you.

If you are asking yourself how to get your ex girlfriend back from another guy, or your boyfriend broke up with you because of falling for another woman, this new love interest may only be the obvious first reason that explains why you and your ex broke up. Why was this new person more tempting, easier to talk to, more fun!?

Many coachees are surprised by what we uncover during our sessions. No attempt to get back with an ex will succeed if you do not know what the true reasons are! If you are in doubt, we can help you during one of our phone coaching sessions.

Secret no. 4: Don’t ruin an apology with an excuse!

Getting your ex back sometimes requires a heartfelt apology. Depending on what it is you are apologizing for, we need a few different building blocks. 

I am often asked how to get your ex back in a week. And quite honestly, certain cases, in which you need to fess up to your wrong behavior, may be the only rare instances where getting back your ex can go so quickly. 

Case 1: You acted like a jerk and want your ex girlfriend (boyfriend) back fast!

Did you not value what you and your ex had? Were you rude, did you ignore or mistreat them? Were you unfaithful? 

Before we can think about actually working towards getting back your ex, you need to apologize. Consider the following apology:

Dear Meghan, 

I will never forgive myself for how disrespectfully I treated you. From now on I will never make the same mistakes again. I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart. You have to understand that I wasn’t myself. I have never acted this way before, you just push my buttons. I will always love you and I do not know how I will ever be able to look myself in the mirror again. 

Please forgive me!

all my love, Derrik

Now… there is a lot that is wrong with this written apology. Let’s pick it apart to make sure, you do not make the same mistakes. There are three potential barriers that are keeping you from formulating an apology to your ex that is believable, sincere and effective. 

  1. You are not actually that concerned with how badly you hurt your ex partner, or the relationship. An apology is only ever convincing, if you actually mean it. In our coaching sessions my team and I often set time apart to help our coachee understand what they did (and didn’t) do wrong. Make sure you are not only apologizing to strategically get your way, but because you truly want to right a wrong. 
  2. You are worried that apologizing will make you seem weak, or like the “baddie”. Interestingly women generally apologize more often than men do. Men tend to have a higher threshold of behavior that calls for an apology. Especially when you are a man wondering how to get a girl back, it follows that you may not have considered the need to apologize. The beautiful thing is that your apology has even more power, if she does not expect one!
  3. You doubt an apology will change anything. Maybe your apology won’t cut it. I am not going to lie. But if you screwed up and want to protect any new chance you have with your ex partner, then you need to say you are sorry. 

Checklist for your apology:

  • Is it specific? Don’t make sweeping, general statements. You have put the time in to truly understand what your mistakes were, so do yourself a favor and don’t force your ex to guess what you are apologizing for.
  • Are you being realistic? Yes you have made mistakes and you want to work on not repeating them. But if you claim that you are a totally changed man/woman you lose credibility.
  • Does it blame your ex? This is a big No-No! Any form of excuse or pointing fingers will ruin your apology. Just don’t do it!
  • Can you stand by it? Make sure you don’t write something you will regret. Accept that your apology, if passed on as a letter or text, may be shared with others. 

Case 2: You panicked, leading you to beg and plead

Ok, so imagine reversing the roles. Put yourself in your ex’s shoes: How would you feel if you had to read the 50+ WhatsApp messages you sent within the first two days following the breakup? Would you really decide to take someone back because they called you crying on the phone? How would you feel, if your ex kept showing up at your door, even after you told them to stop? 

Please don’t feel like I do not understand the urge to try and convince your ex to take you back. I have fallen into this trap myself, thinking that if I could just convince my ex how much I loved her, she would take me back. If you also went overboard and contacted your ex more often than you care to share, you also need to apologize. 

Be brief. A text message along the lines of: 

“Hey Meghan, sorry for all the spam. I was really stressed out organizing the fundraiser and things got away from me a bit. Please do me the favor and just delete all the messages I sent. Cheers, Derrik”, is sufficient.

Then follow it up with the no contact rule!

Secret no. 5: Before there can be attraction, you need to be attractive.

Rejection reduces our self-esteem. And there is nothing more sexy than true self-confidence! Missing your ex, feeling lovesick and lonely will make it even more challenging for you to become a more attractive version of yourself. But loneliness does not strictly have to do with how many people you surround yourself with, but rather the quality of your connections. 

While men can avoid feeling lonely by becoming members of larger clubs or organizations, the same does not seem to work as well for women. For women, who on average value close interpersonal relationships, maintaining close friendships will be even more important. So take these two gender differences as a guideline and don’t hesitate to try both. Join a new sports club, try a new hobby that has you meeting like-minded people, and force yourself to also ask your friends how they are doing, instead of only talking about how much you want to get back with your ex!

Not surprisingly, research finds that after you feel rejected, your desire to feel like you belong (to someone) increases. The problem that we see in practice, however, is that feeling rejected can also turn us into more aggressive, short, and anti-social versions of ourselves. Replacing time usually spent with your ex girlfriend or boyfriend with new contacts, friends and family will not feel the same, but it is definitely more attractive than sitting home alone feeling sorry for yourself. 

Secret no. 6: The no contact rule can protect you from yourself!

You can’t stop thinking about how badly you want your ex boyfriend back, so you decide to send him a “good morning” message every day. When you were still together, he once mentioned that it upset him, how often you forget to do this. Now you want to show that you listened to him, and you can improve. 

The problem: your actions are proving to your ex that a.) you have not accepted the breakup, b.) you do not respect his decision to separate, and c.) you currently want much more contact than he does. 

As long as you follow your most basic urges, your ex will never get the chance to miss you or wonder how you are doing. Click here to read up on the no contact rule, to decide whether this could be necessary in your case!

Secret no. 7: Past behavior predicts future behavior, when getting back with your ex!

You know your ex better than most people. Think back to when you were first dating. What kind of things did you enjoy doing together? What were common interests or hobbies? 

Were you friends first and bonded over a shared interest in music? Then I recommend reigniting this connection, way before you worry about rekindling the relationship. This way your ex can be back in your life, without worrying about having to have his or her alert on high. 

Did you always have an intense physical attraction, then dust off your flirting skills! 

By remembering the early days of your relationship you reconnect with your ex in a way that is true to your two personalities. 

Secret no. 8: Rushing it can end things before they even started.

When will you truly feel like you have gotten your ex back? Maybe you have gotten to the point, where you know you can call them any time and they will be happy to hear your voice. Perhaps you are meeting up regularly, your friends have started asking if you are back together. Maybe you have kissed, or even had sex together. Now what?

This is often where we get too impatient. In wanting to define the relationship, we lose the carefree spirit that got us this far. I believe in the power of letting go of an ex partner after a breakup. When you then reunite, you can trust that they really missed you and wanted to get back together without anyone or anything pressuring them.

Enjoy the time you are spending together. Make new memories without having to state whether you are “girlfriend” or “boyfriend” again. When your ex brings up the conversation about your relationship status, you know the timing to talk about it is right. 

The bottom line

The secrets to getting back together with an ex may sound logical to you, it’s when it comes to implementing them that things get difficult. 

  • You may understand that you need to get more power in the relationship. But you struggle to achieve this goal.
  • You realize that your lovesickness is making you weaker, but somehow you can’t seem to force yourself to follow through on projects that will make you feel better.
  • You know that no contact with your ex is the only thing that will help right now, but you find yourself sending messages in the middle of the night, nevertheless. 

You are already so much further, once you understand the theory behind getting back with your ex. Be kind to yourself if you don’t immediately succeed in applying every single aspect mentioned! Your relationship grew over time and in the same way, it will take time to get back together again. Reach out to my team of coaches and me, if you find yourself struggling. 

All the best, 

Emanuel

References:

Finkel, E. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (2010). Attraction and rejection. In R. F. Baumeister & E. J. Finkel (Eds.), Advanced social psychology: The state of the science (p. 419–459). Oxford University Press. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2010-11906-012

Gordon, A. M., & Chen, S. (2013). Does power help or hurt? The moderating role of self–other focus on power and perspective-taking in romantic relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39(8), 1097-1110. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167213490031

Schumann, K. (2018). The psychology of offering an apology: Understanding the barriers to apologizing and how to overcome them. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(2), 74-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721417741709

Schumann, K., & Ross, M. (2010). Why women apologize more than men: Gender differences in thresholds for perceiving offensive behavior. Psychological Science, 21(11), 1649-1655. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610384150

Author:

Emanuel Albert

I have been working as a dating and relationship coach for more than 20 years. Every day my team and I help clients reach more happiness in their relationships. Our vision is to turn relationship problems back into love! To achieve this goal I developed the successful Emanuel Albert Method.