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42 Mistakes to Avoid & Healthy Ways to Get Your Ex Back If You’ve Messed Up

Broken up with someone you love, and now regret it? Here are some tips on how to get your ex back. We can’t make guarantees, but it’s worth a try. 

how to get your ex back

Nobody’s perfect. We mess up and make mistakes and end up living to regret those decisions. Perhaps something you’ve recently messed up on was ending a relationship that was actually really great. If that’s the case, you might want to know how to get your ex back.

It might not be easy, but if you regret it, there are ways to fix a messed-up romance, salvage it and come out stronger than ever.

However, this does depend on how much you hurt them and how angry they are with you *if there was an argument involved or you falsely accused them of something*. They might need some time to think through things before deciding if they want to be with you or not.

But you’re human, and you’re allowed to regret certain decisions in your life – including a breakup. [Read: The dumper’s regret – The timeline and phases of regret you’ll experience after dumping someone]

Stop treating fights like a breakup!

You and your partner get into a fight and you end up breaking up with them, only to try and get them back later. But really, breaking up is not something to take lightly. If you’re just fighting, work it out. Why is a single argument enough to make you want to leave someone?

If you’re calling the relationship off every time you have a fight, and if you’re begging for them back later, you don’t honestly want to end your relationship. But doing this over and over will make it harder and harder to get that person back each time. Breaking up with someone is a really intense decision, and you should never take it lightly. [Read: How to get your ex back]

While there are certainly valid reasons to end a relationship, you need to ensure you’re making the right call. Don’t just walk away when things get hard or every time you fight.

You should never be using a breakup to escape from conflict and go back to them when it’s convenient for you. That’s not how a relationship works. [Read: 20 valid reasons to break up with someone you need to consider before ending things]

Why do we regret a breakup?

There are several reasons why you might end up regretting a breakup. The most common cause for regret is when you break up with someone impulsively. This means you didn’t stop to think about the consequences of your actions, or you never weighed in if you’re actually making the right call.

You just did it, possibly because of your overwhelming emotions during the fight or another factor entirely. A breakup hurts no matter what, but it hurts even more if you keep breaking up and getting back together. This on-off cycle caused by impulsive decisions to break up will leave your partner exhausted and disheartened.

But again, you’re human, and regret is something you’ll experience a few times in your life. So if you’re wondering how to get your ex back because you think you made the wrong decision, it’s possible that your ex-partner is feeling the same way too.

But if you ended things in a hurry, you need to realize that you broke their heart when you decided to walk away, so it’s definitely not going to be a piece of cake winning them back. [Read: Regret breaking up? 15 signs you should give it another chance]

Common mistakes when trying to get an ex back

Before we get into how to get an ex back, you need to understand the common pitfalls that so many people fall foul of. Avoid these like the plague because they’re not going to help you in your cause.

1. Calling and texting them all the time

They probably need time to process what’s happened and work out how they feel. If you’re bombarding them with calls and texts, you’re not allowing them the time and space they need to digest everything.

2. Begging and trying to use pity

You walked away from them. Remember that. You don’t get to play the pity card.

Plus, it’s nothing short of annoying. [Read: How to move on from a breakup without compromising your dignity]

3. Letting them walk all over you

They’re hurt, and that means they could act out of character. But even if they’re acting a little differently than usual, the worst thing you could do is allow them to walk all over you.

Far too many agree to every single thing their ex asks, just because they don’t want to rock the boat and risk them not returning. But that’s not a healthy relationship, is it?

4. Showering them with affection

Too much affection is overwhelming, and it might come over as fake. After all, you ended the relationship, so why are you now throwing affection their way when it’s too late?

5. Freaking out if they start dating

You’re not together anymore, and even though you want to know how to get your ex back, that doesn’t mean you have any control over what they do now. If they start dating or even flirting openly, you shouldn’t freak out. You don’t have the right. [Read: Unreciprocated love – 25 ways to move on when love isn’t returned]

6. Anger and name calling

Just because you’re not getting what you want doesn’t give you the right to call your ex names or become angry with them. And it’s not going to help you get them back either.

7. Obsession

Allowing your every waking thought to be about getting your ex back will not end well. And it doesn’t look good, either. [Read: Signs of obsessive love you can’t ignore]

The ‘no contact’ rule explained

When you break up with someone, whether you want to get them back or you want time to think, you should try the ‘no contact’ rule. This basically means that you avoid contacting them for a period of time and you don’t respond if they reach out to you.

The point of this is to give you space to think about things without having contact with them clouding your judgment. It’s primarily a way to get over someone and move on, but it can also be used to help someone realize what they’re missing.

The general rule of thumb is that no contact should last for 60 days. Yes, that’s a lot! But every situation is different, so perhaps you won’t go that long. What you should do, however, is make sure this doesn’t last for just a couple of days. [Read: No contact rule – what it is, how to use it, and why it works so well]

1. Should I tell my ex I’m doing ‘no contact?’

It might be a good idea to simply say to your ex that you’re keen to give them time and space to think things through, so you’re going to avoid making contact for a while. Otherwise, they might just think you’re ignoring them.

In some ways, absence makes the heart grow fonder and it might make them crazy to talk to you, but perhaps it will backfire if you’re not clear.

2. Isn’t it rude to not contact my ex?

We’ll put it this way; it’s better than bombarding them with contact. Give them some space!

3. Should I answer my ex’s calls and texts during this time?

No. No contact means zero contact. [Read: Surprised? The male and female mind during the no contact phase]

How to get your ex back if you regret the breakup

So you let your partner go, and now you want them back. Whether you realized how much you cared for them or you were just angry and now you’re not, you’ll need some help. Here are some steps that’ll help you earn back your lover’s trust:

1. Think about how you left things

Did you leave after a fight, or did you just end things calmly and in a nice way? This will make a huge difference.

If you two were fighting, you probably said some mean things you didn’t mean, and that’ll make it harder to get them back.

However, if you sat them down and broke up with them, you’ll have to think about your reasons for doing so. Are those reasons legit, or did you just make up excuses?

Now that you realize you want them, you’ll have to convince them why. Reassure them that you made the wrong call to end things and you want to try again. [Read: Mutual breakups – The signs and why they really happen]

2. Do you really want them back?

Do you actually want them back, or are you just lonely? This might sound a little harsh, but it happens too much. You break up with someone you don’t like all that much and realize it’s more fun to have a partner than it is to be alone.

If you’re just getting back together because you’re lonely, you’re getting back together for all the wrong reasons.

So make sure this is what you really want and not just an impulsive decision. [Read: How to be single after a long relationship – 20 ways to start over a new life]

3. Apologize

You need to tell them you’re sorry for breaking up with them and for not realizing how much you want them in your life. You did something wrong, and you messed up. Tell them that. If you expect them to come back to you without hearing an apology, you’re out of your mind. The apology comes first.

Most importantly, make sure your apology is genuine and sincere. [Read: 17 aww-so-sweet ways to genuinely say you’re sorry]

4. Solve any issues you had

Obviously, you broke up for a reason. What was that reason? Were you fighting over recurring problems? If so, you’ll really have to work to get past those before you can get back together. A breakup doesn’t magically occur, so chances are, something triggered you to call it quits.

Communicate what the problem was and talk about it with them. It’s your only winning chance of making the relationship work so you don’t end up breaking up again *and regretting the breakup all over again*[Read: Why relationships fail – 25 reasons why love can fall apart completely]

5. Give them some space if they need it

And they’ll probably need it. You just broke up with this person, and now you want them back. It looks pretty wishy-washy, and they’ll want to work through their own feelings. Leave them alone so they can do that.

Don’t text. Don’t call. Just wait for them to come to you. [Read: How to give him space without losing him or your confused mind]

6. Tell them how you really feel

Just open up to them. If you’re confused about how you feel, tell them. If you want to be with them but are having reservations for some reason, tell them.

You can’t get anywhere without some communication. You should know this by now, but communication is the key to making any relationship work.

So allow yourself to be vulnerable and honest with your feelings if you want to learn how to get your ex back. This is highly critical if you’re going to repair your relationship and make things work. [Read: How to tell someone how you feel about them & share your feelings]

7. Show them you’re sorry

Don’t just tell them you’re sorry, but actively show them. Make it up to them. They’ll have to have proof you’re actually sorry for how much you’ve hurt them, so make an effort to make things up to them.

Actions speak louder than words, after all.

We’re not saying you should make a grand gesture to get them back. What’s more important is the sincerity behind your actions. [Read: How to win a guy back when you messed up a perfectly good thing]

8. Don’t do anything drastic

Don’t cut your hair or get a tattoo or any piercings right away in an attempt to show them you’re desirable. And don’t try to make them jealous by getting with someone else. Just don’t do anything stupid or impulsive.

Give yourself some time to adjust and allow yourself to think clearly. There’s no need to try so hard or play mind games to win them back. This will naturally happen if they want to, even without making all these drastic changes.

9. Appreciate them

All you can really do is tell them how much you appreciate them and how much you’ll make sure to show that if you get back together.

Make them realize that you’ll be consistent in showing your appreciation if you do get back together. But again, if they’re very much hurt from the breakup, they might not see what you’re trying to do. [Read: 25 ways to show your appreciation without words]

10. Admit your mistakes

Just tell them you messed up and it was a mistake. Again, this will be a lot easier if you open up and tell them how you’re really feeling. Just own up to it. They’ll admire your willingness to take the blame, and it can help you get them back.

If you don’t take accountability for your mistakes and admit your faults, they will not want to get back together. So if you’re serious about wanting to learn how to get your ex back, start by admitting your mistakes and wrongdoings. [Read: How to open up to someone you’re dating when you’re scared]

11. Focus on bettering yourself

If they want some time to think things through, give it to them. In the meantime, focus on bettering yourself. There was obviously an issue with how you felt about them, and if it has to do with you not appreciating them enough, you’ll need to fix that.

Focus on learning to appreciate more things in your life. It’ll make being grateful for them much easier should you get back together. When you fix your issues, and if you’re lucky enough to mend things, your relationship will go smoother. [Read: How to be more positive – 24 steps to a happy and dramatic life shift]

12. Let their needs guide you

Your ex may need time and space to process what occurred before they can talk about it. It’s also common for this to be a matter of physical space. Respecting their boundaries and needs will go a long way toward showing them that they can rely on you again. They may also wish to see more of your side of things in the future.

Talking to a couple’s counselor might be helpful if you’ve made some progress in rebuilding your relationship and if you’re really eager to learn how to get your ex back. [Read: What is commitment in a relationship and how to know if you have it]

13. Commit to clear communication

Being open and honest with them is the best thing you can do right now. So, make sure to do that right away. Evaluate the extent of communication they need before doing this.

Let’s say you abused their trust by concealing information you thought was unimportant. This might be a sign that you both have a problem communicating.

Understanding what good communication in a relationship means can help you mend your relationship and prevent you from hurting them again in the future. Misunderstandings or misinterpretations can sometimes be just as damaging as dishonesty. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to a better love]

14. Avoid dwelling on the past

It would help if you refrained from overly monitoring them to ensure that they aren’t deceiving you. In the beginning, this might be a challenge. A betrayal might make it tough to trust your lover again, particularly if you’re afraid of a second one.

Giving a relationship a second chance means trusting them again. There is a potential that you may not be able to trust them entirely, but you are saying that you will allow the trust to build. [Read: How to let go of the past and be excited by the future]

15. Be prepared for a denial

They might not actually want you back. The decision to get back together may not go your way. Be prepared for this. You broke things off, and maybe they decided they like things better that way.

If that’s the case, you’ll just have to accept it and move on.

Accept that they might not want anything to do with you anymore after you broke up with them. Accept that you made the wrong decision and move forward. [Read: 15 ways to get a guy to like you again that works like a charm]

16. Don’t try to make them jealous

You posting pictures with other people or when you’re on a night out with your friend isn’t what you need to do when you’re looking for ways to win your partner back. You don’t need to make them feel jealous. Instead, you should apologize and have a genuine conversation with them.

17. Avoid using sex to win them over

When it comes to sex, it’s an easy tool to use and one card many try to move past a situation. But come on, using sex to get them back is just sad. You hurt them, and sex isn’t going to take away what happened.

You’ll need to talk about what happened, so sex will only delay the inevitable conversation. [Read: The most obvious thirst trap signs that scream “I want attention”]

18. Don’t play games

It’s easy to manipulate them into coming back to you, but it won’t be genuine. You shouldn’t play games and manipulate someone to get them to want you. If you screwed up, then the last thing you should do is play games.

You messed up, and now you have to wait for them to make a decision. 

19. Avoid social media

We know you want to stalk their social media, watch all their Instagram stories, and like all their posts, but don’t do it. Stay away from their social media and avoid any engagement. Give them some space, and that includes social media. [Read: Strong signs your ex is over you and it’s time for you to move on]

Signs your ex might come back

You’ve been using the above advice on how to get your ex back, but you’re not sure if it’s working or not. The good news is there are some solid signs that things might be moving in the right direction.

Don’t look for just one or two points, but a few could certainly mean that you might be back together in the near future.

1. You are getting consistent meaningful responses

Basically, they’re not speaking to you as a friend or someone they used to know. There seems to be deeper depth or meaning in every conversation between you two. Not only are they responding to your calls, texts, or general conversations, but what they say is meaningful, something that feels reserved for you.

2. They’re pretending to be over you

How do you know they’re pretending? You know them better than anyone, and you can see when their heart isn’t in something. Try not to convince yourself of this without reason, but if people are telling you they’re not into this other person or you can tell they’re not happy, it’s a good sign for the future. [Read: How to know if your ex is over you and wants nothing to do with you]

3. You learn they’re not coming back because they’re scared

Has someone told you that the only reason they’re not back with you is because they’re scared of getting hurt again? That basically means they do care, and they would probably like to get back with you, but fear is holding them back.

4. They become jealous

An ex doesn’t get jealous without reason. If they didn’t care or they were over you, they wouldn’t see the point in showing the green-eyed monster.

People only get jealous when they care.

5. They exhibit unconscious signs of interest

There are some things we can’t control, like body language. If their body language is screaming interest even though they’re trying to avoid it, it’s a good sign. [Read: Body language attraction – 58 male and female signs and how to read and use it]

6. They use pet names from the past

The only reason they would do this is because they’re thinking back fondly on your past relationship, and perhaps they’re starting to miss it. Pet names are a sign of affection, after all.

7. Dramatic mood swings

Are they positive one minute and negative the next before swinging back in the other direction? This could mean that they’re fighting their feelings for you, and it’s causing them to feel out of sorts.

8. They reach out to you more than you reach out to them

Why else would they do that if they weren’t interested?

9. They start talking about the future

The fact they’re starting to see a future for the two of you again means they’re considering getting back together with you. Making plans means a positive future. [Read: Does he or doesn’t he see a future with you?]

10. They use reverse psychology

Again, they’re confused about their feelings, and it could also be that they’re testing you to see how far you’ll go. They’re not sure if you’re telling the truth about your change of heart, and they’re testing the waters.

11. They like or comment on almost all your social media posts

Basically, they’re watching your social media like a hawk, and you don’t do that to people you don’t care about! They’re also commenting or liking to show others that they’re still in the picture.

12. Their nostalgia starts to show

If they’re reminiscing about the past, it’s because they’re missing being with you. The fact they’re thinking that way means they could be ready to try again.

13. Mutual friends let it slip that they still have feelings for you

You can always rely on mutual friends to get in the middle of situations and help them along! If your mutual friends have told you that your ex still cares, they’re probably not lying. [Read: Does he still love me? 25 questions to reveal the truth instantly]

14. They come to your rescue every chance they get

Why would they do that if they weren’t interested in your wellbeing?

15. They’ve been excessively reaching out to you during ‘no contact’

If that’s the case, not being in touch with you is causing them to feel out of sorts, and they want to speak. Their feelings are on show, and with careful communication and an apology from you, the relationship could be back on.

16. They tell you they want you back

Do we need to say more? [Read: How to date an ex again and get second time lucky]

Is going back to your ex worth it?

Now you know everything you need to know about how to get your ex back, what are you going to do? The first thing you should do is question whether it’s really worth it. After all, you broke up for a reason.

If that reason was a serious one, relying on nostalgia to guide you through isn’t going to change anything. If your ex was abusive, you used to argue constantly, or you simply didn’t seem to fit, cut your losses, and walk away for good. You’ve already done the hard work, now you just need to get through the aftermath.

However, if you really feel like you’ve made a mistake and the problems you faced can be overcome, well, you’ve got nothing to lose, have you?

[Read: The life-altering lessons you can learn from regret]

If you really want to know how to get your ex back, you’ll have to apologize, take accountability for your mistakes, and be sincere with your intentions. Most importantly, don’t make the same mistake again. 

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...