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How I Got Her Back The First Time, Thoughts on NC, Etc.


olesun

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I've spent quite some time on this board reading these threads. I've noticed it brought up a few times before, but feel the need to reiterate it, because I think a core message is being diluted.

 

This is the "Getting Back Together" board. And yet, the majority of the posts here are "Forget About Him/Her" or "Strict NC. You don't deserve that. They'll come back if it's meant to be."

In fact, the vast majority of posts on this forum, especially regarding those about NC, belong more appropriately in the "Healing" forum. Reconciliation is not born from negative feelings, ego stroking or some sense of entitlement because another person hurt you. Your ex, most likely, is playing the same game you are. And expecting them to bend over backwards or reach out to you first because they're the one that dumped you is not a safe bet. People are not the same. However, NC is still important.

 

Here's how I got back together with my ex-girlfriend a few years ago. No Contact was involved, but only temporarily.

 

When we first broke up, I made the classic mistakes. Over texting, over calling, proclaiming my undying love, etc.

I scoured the internet for information about how to get us back together. I couldn't accept NC as a real concept, but after continuing to try, I eventually surrendered to it.

I spent about three weeks working on myself. Went to the gym. Got myself in shape. Got my hobbies back in line. Worked harder at my job. Expanded my social circle.

At the end of the three weeks, I made contact. She responded VERY negatively. It shut me down. All of the progress I was making came to a screeching halt.

 

But, eventually, I picked myself back up and restarted the process. This time, focusing on myself much harder than before.

Here's what I learned:

 

1. NC is a tool. Not a remedy. Please do not believe the people telling you that NC will fix the issue. Do not just aimlessly dive into No Contact without understanding how to use it. If you actually wish to get back together with your ex, NC is a tool. You are not doing this as a show of ego. You are not doing this to show your ex you don't need them. Take this time to settle yourself down. There is no "One Month" trick. There is no "This isn't enough or too much time". You need to seriously evaluate what you've done wrong. If you think you did nothing wrong at all, chances are you're thinking in terms of what are considered typically "incorrect" acts. Cheating and lying are obviously not good. But maybe your issue was smaller. Did you depend on them a little too much? Were you overbearing? Did you lose that smooth, sexy edge you had when the two of you met? Is there anything about yourself you do not like? Are you honestly willing to commit to the idea that from this point forward, you are not going to let yourself fall back into those habits? Good. Next step is to...

 

2. Commit. If you're willing to work on your own issues, this is the most important part. But understand that this isn't a temporary facade that you'll be keeping up until you get them back. This is permanent. If you are just playing around, you WILL lose them again. This break up has shone light on the ugliest parts of yourself. It's time to clean up shop and keep it clean from here. Again, I cannot stress this enough. If you are NOT willing to completely commit to never making the same mistake again, you are wasting your time. Not just with them. But with a future relationship. If you are not using one of the greatest opportunities in your life for personal growth, you are letting a good thing go to waste.

 

3. Forgive. This is the biggest issue I see on certain boards. If you cannot forgive your ex, you will never get back together. If you can't let go of the idea of them cheating on you, sleeping with someone else after the break up, spending time with another man/woman/whatever; you are doomed to have things fall apart right in front of you. This is the part where you will determine whether you truly love them. Newsflash: Your ex is a regular person. Love is pure. Can you love them for all of them? The wonderful times together. The awful times apart. Everything?

 

4. Prepare. Right now. Right this very second. Can you guarantee that if you found out they were dating someone else, got pregnant, got married, moved to Thailand, joined the priesthood or decided to start a noise rock band that you could handle it? Would you be able to not only handle it, but respond smoothly, intelligently and possibly even humorously? Because I can almost guarantee you that there is something new and shocking that has happened with your ex. And if you can't accept it; you haven't forgiven them. If you can't accept it; you aren't ready.

 

6. Contact. The time to contact your ex is when you have fully accepted the break up, determined that you still love them and have reached a point of acceptance that you can communicate without reciprocation. This means, you feel comfortable sending them a text and are certain that your world will not come falling down around you if they do not respond. In fact, you should probably expect that they won't respond. Close ended communication is important here. IE: Something like "Saw [object] today and thought of you. Haha. Hope you're well." is better than "So. How have you been?". No one is obligated to respond to you. Low pressure communication is the only way. Treat your ex as a friend that you haven't seen in a while. Would you text and old buddy and then flip out 12 hours later and send them a million texts when they didn't respond?

 

7. Time. Expect this to take a while. Rekindling takes a long time. Did your ex immediately decide to become your boyfriend/girlfriend the day you met? Mine didn't. Her and I took about 4 months to realize we were in love and another month to become official. Realize that your old relationship is dead and you're meeting a new person. Your ex might take three weeks to graduate from miscellaneous emails to texting. And another three weeks to graduate from texting to phone calls. They might also want to see you the next day. They might make plans and cancel them. If you get frustrated or pissed off; you're already taking steps back. Remember that you love them. You've committed to this, right? Eventually, you will have your chance. Expect this phase to take longer than NC did.

 

After I had regained my confidence, I dropped NC. I stayed in semi-regular contact with her from there. At first, meeting resistance. Gradually, we began to talk and joke around again like we used to. I tried to meet with her a few times, but she would either back down or just not reply. Instead of getting angry, I'd take a few steps back and downgrade the waltz back to small talk. This went on long enough and eventually we met up. We went on a fantastic date and she had me over he new apartment.

 

To my surprise, hanging right over her bed was a gift I gave her years before. It was a plaque that talked about the ways I loved her. She said that she had kept it over her bed for the past 6 months we were apart. I nearly cried. (But didn't! Us overly sentimental men need to get our acts together!)

 

All I'm saying is that it can be done. But if you truly want to be back with your ex; focusing on how they were bad person towards the end will not help.

Focusing on a calendar and counting days will not help. Putting more emphasis on the importance of NC than the actual mechanics of reconciliation will result in you being unprepared to actually get things moving again. You could be ready in as short as a week or it may take a year. The formula is only determined by YOU and what you know of your ex.

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Great post. The guarantee that there is something new and shocking with the ex is a brilliant insight.

 

What was it in your case?

 

She was dating someone. And they were talking about going overseas for a trip.

 

I didn't handle it properly. At all. But I had to make the mistake and learn from it. Realistically, her and I would have gotten back together way sooner than 6 months had I not needed to make so many mistakes in order to learn. But I don't regret them. They were essential for my own growth and understanding.

 

I don't advise "Strict NC" in the case of an ex dating someone else when you want them back, either. I think this is another piece of advice born from a misplaced sense of ego. Personally, my self-respect is not challenged by my feelings for another person. Obviously, Im not going to tolerate all out abuse, but an ex dating someone else isn't exactly breaking the rules. And believing that they don't deserve the right to speak to you only seems to indicate that you haven't managed to get over yourself yet.

 

However, it does need to be handled differently. Instead of working towards reconciling, which you won't be able to track progress on in a meaningful way, any communications with her should be handled in terms of reminding her that you're a freshly single, fun person.

 

Admittedly, this may seem a bit manipulative. But realistically, if he or she is even speaking to you and you've developed a somewhat friendly rapport while they are in their new relationship, they're clearly still interested in some degree and something isn't completely fulfilling in the (most likely rebound) relationship. I needs to be done with nuance. Example: "Hey. Was out with a friend last night and saw (Chick Flick); you'd probably like it. Have you been to (new happening bar), yet?". Try sending a picture out of the blue of something you're doing with friends that she'd find hilarious. Show that your life is moving forward and awesome things are happening in it. But do it without looking like you're attempting to stir jealousy. And this can be accomplished by simply NOT attempting to stir jealousy.

 

What will occur is pretty simple. Relationships, plain and simple, can get boring. Especially rebounds. If someone he/she loved and had a long term history with, who was previously in a state of neediness and is now out living it up, they'll take notice. They'll be interested.

 

But once again. This is your life now. This isn't a mask. This is real life.

But let's be real. Is having as much fun as you possibly can really that bad of a life to lead?

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First of all, excellent post. Thank you for this. I definitely needed to read this.

 

Second, what exactly were the reasons for you two breaking up and how long were you broken up for? Also, how long were you in No Contact for?

 

We broke up because I was extremely needy. Winters gets to me. And she gradually began to pull away. Another guy came through and I was left in the dust. We were together for 5 years. We were broken up for 7 months.

 

I initially went into NC for about 3 weeks. But my attempts to break it, while I don't remember how I did it, were just plain stupid.

I went in expecting a ton. I got nothing back and completely flipped out. Hit rock bottom.

 

It wasn't until I realized that expecting something like that is the opposite of love. You are not entitled to love.

 

I went back into NC for about 2 weeks. And then went into intermittent bursts of it, never lasting longer than 2 weeks. I mostly did it whenever I ended up making mistakes or was confused by something she had said and needed to reflect. All contact, unless initiated her, was buffered by a few days to a week. In other words, if I started a conversation on Tuesday and we chatted back and forth; I would then take the next 2-6 days to work on me, before attempting to contact her again. Unless she said something to me first.

 

The other thing to keep in mind, is that your ex is most likely not diving into the relationship mentally the way you are. She's probably not on a forum, searching high and low for information on how to get over you. It's a different game with different rules.

 

I had a lot of friends giving me conflicting advice towards the end. A lot of "Just move on. It's over" and a lot of "I think you should go for it. Do this."It wasn't until I realized that I had entirely too many cooks in kitchen and needed to take the reigns on my own life like a man that I actually got her back.

 

Take the advice from those on this board. But remember that no one knows your ex better than you do. They don't know the nuances, intricacies of the break up, the way his voice stutters when you know he's not telling the truth, the way she has a hard time saying "I love you" even when she wants to. They just don't know. Only you do.

 

Use the tools on this board. But understand that there is no formula. That's something you need to create yourself. But proofread.

Write the damn plan down if you have to. No timelines. Fold it up, take a weekend to yourself with your buddies and reread the plan Monday evening. Still make sense? Then go.

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All this in hindsight is "easy" to say but you admitted to do the classical mistakes ... and of course, losing your GF to someone new is a hard thing to cope with and even you couldn't keep the contact with her and went NC for a while. So in the end you had to learn the hard way too.

 

Of course if you don't let go of the old relationship you would never be able to reconcile in case both want. But not everyone is ready to forget what happened much less if they were substituted for someone else and the ex took the carousel with different guys just to realize she couldn't find better.

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Very good words again.

 

So what's the next step for you? I'm in the beginning stages of no contact (again) after having broken it intermittently too about every two weeks. I made the same classical mistakes you did with the culmination being on valentines day which is when I declared she's the one and I want to start fresh. I look back now and don't consider it a waste, but it definitely was too soon.

 

I had set myself a timeline, but after reading your post, I realize you are right about knowing my ex more than anyone here on this board. Every situation is different. I'm still working on myself and have a few things on my agenda for personal growth. I feel that when i'm done with that, I'll be in a better position to touch bases with her casually.

 

Very sound words you have. Thanks again.

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All this in hindsight is "easy" to say but you admitted to do the classical mistakes ... and of course, losing your GF to someone new is a hard thing to cope with and even you couldn't keep the contact with her and went NC for a while. So in the end you had to learn the hard way too.

 

Of course if you don't let go of the old relationship you would never be able to reconcile in case both want. But not everyone is ready to forget what happened much less if they were substituted for someone else and the ex took the carousel with different guys just to realize she couldn't find better.

 

If you're not ready to let go of what happened then you have zero chance of getting back together with someone. Period.

 

Also, you're missing key words in the title of this thread. "The first time". I lost her again recently and got her back. This was my fault, as I fell back into old habits.

And I felt that maybe revisiting some boards I used to look at after the big 7 month break up and offering advice would help remind me to stay on track.

 

I'm a Bukowski fan, too. During the break up, I got a classic, albeit overused quote of his paraphrased and tattooed on my wrist. "Live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us." That's the mindset you need to acquire. Holding on to old baggage just to nourish the pain will not make you feel better or make you closer to your ex.

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Very good words again.

 

So what's the next step for you? I'm in the beginning stages of no contact (again) after having broken it intermittently too about every two weeks. I made the same classical mistakes you did with the culmination being on valentines day which is when I declared she's the one and I want to start fresh. I look back now and don't consider it a waste, but it definitely was too soon.

 

I had set myself a timeline, but after reading your post, I realize you are right about knowing my ex more than anyone here on this board. Every situation is different. I'm still working on myself and have a few things on my agenda for personal growth. I feel that when i'm done with that, I'll be in a better position to touch bases with her casually.

 

Very sound words you have. Thanks again.

 

I can't say more about timelines being a complete waste of time and only being a crazy making machine. I truly believe that my own personal timelines were what actually set me back further than anything I said or did. They breed anxiety. "Only 10 days left until I'm done for good" is not a healthy thing to have banging around in your head. That's Hollywood stuff. Not real life. Make other timelines if you have to. IE: "I have to get my car clean in 10 days." or "I'm going to save money for 15 days and take a trip" Way more constructive. Way more forward thinking.

 

Try not to dismiss NC completely, either. There are some valuable concepts contained within it. Just don't make yourself a slave to it. There are certainly some cases where a few months NC is important. But I think the idea of strict NC until they reach out just leads a lot of people into being disappointed when their ex calls asking for his sweater back. And then they spend the next two weeks analyzing whether he had the slightest hint of a smile. (The truth: Most likely, if you've spent the past 3 months crying your eyes out instead of becoming a more fun person to be around, they just wanted their sweater back.)

 

For you personally, I would advise taking some time in NC to realize the relationship you knew is over. Really let it sink in. Determine if you have what it takes to completely restart with this person again. Understand that you're essentially trying to make friends with a stranger, except that you have the advantage AND disadvantage of history on your side.

 

The best advice I've ever received?

 

"Live a life that she would want to be a part of."

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Just do me one favor, Jungle. Understand that this isn't relief from NC duty. You still need to stick with it, even when it sucks. Knowing that it's not forever may be a bit of relief, but you really run the risk of screwing things up if you're not monitoring yourself closely. IE: Go a solid 2-3 weeks to clean the slate from the Valentine's Day massacre. Be really sure to take it if you need more time. Got sweat on your fingers as you're drafting a text? Take a day off, soldier.

 

Expect that she will not respond. Perhaps even find some joy in the fact that she hasn't, because it will confirm your expectations. Use it as a gauge to determine progress. Take a week off and try again. Shoot for creativity. Never the same text twice. Never the same approach twice. When something unexpected like a response happens, take a breather. Take a walk. Do something. Over time, you will train yourself to expect the unexpected and will be completely untouchable. Partner that with a great life outside of missing your ex and you've got a winning combination.

 

Emphasis on the great life. View this as a good thing. You've got some good times ahead of you.

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Great post, Olesun. Thanks

 

I've been in NC for the past 4 weeks and after a couple of false starts (broken up 4 months) feel like I'm now doing it for the right reasons .... Although I'm now feeling ready to start the casual chats etc and seeing if it is possible for us to start again. Any chance of me asking you for some advice privately? It seems private messages won't let send you a message?

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Seems I don't have the permissions to PM yet. Regardless, I'd be glad to give you feedback here.

 

Congrats on 4 weeks. How are you feeling?

 

Realistically, here's the first thing that comes to mind.

If you need to ask whether you should or shouldn't break NC yet, you're not ready.

I have the feeling you're close, though. So perhaps spend the next week in the "Prepare" phase.

Are you truly ready for even the most outlandishly unexpected piece of information to come out in the open?

Are you ready if he/she says "F*ck you" in response? Will you be able to dust yourself off, laugh about it and have a week to yourself and friends?

Have you dismissed the idea of a timeline and are you ready to discard the idea of her not responding being an extension of the 4 weeks of work you just put in?

 

If you are, fire away. But be prepared for more time. Time is the biggest cog in the equation here.

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Dude, AWESOME thread.... I saw that you actually posted on my thread as well, and I appreciate you pointing out the whole "timeline" dilemma. I'm not sure if you read my entire thread, but is there any other advice you would give as to what to do next?... As you know (or maybe you don't), she has a b/f now. But he lives really far away. I never initiate contact on any day since we started talking again a few days back. She has initiated contact every day since then, and today she sent me a text about chocolate milk LOL... I believe I'm headed in the right direction?

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Dude, AWESOME thread.... I saw that you actually posted on my thread as well, and I appreciate you pointing out the whole "timeline" dilemma. I'm not sure if you read my entire thread, but is there any other advice you would give as to what to do next?... As you know (or maybe you don't), she has a b/f now. But he lives really far away. I never initiate contact on any day since we started talking again a few days back. She has initiated contact every day since then, and today she sent me a text about chocolate milk LOL... I believe I'm headed in the right direction?

 

Yes. I think you're on the right track, too.

 

I actually drafted another post for your thread, but ended up deciding against it, as it seems you're set.

Realistically, if this guy lives far away and you're closer, you have a better shot. But don't get cocky with it.

 

From what I gathered in your thread, you seem to have a concept that this girl is a force to be reckoned with.

I've been there. But that's putting entirely too much of your fate in the hands of someone else.

 

YOU sir, are the force to be reckoned with. YOU need to call the shots. YOU need to be fly as fly can be when it comes to interacting with her.

 

I believe I'm headed in the right direction?

 

When you can take the question mark off this sentence and replace it with a period, you will have the right confidence to deal with this situation appropriately.

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Thanks for your advice. I'll shoot help a message to see what can be done Re: Private messages.

 

I agree with the "If you need to ask whether you should or shouldn't break NC yet, you're not ready" sentiment ... I think its more an urge (if you read my last post) that has come to the surface... I suppose I'm looking at why this urge has suddenly appeared.

 

The perpare phase is kind of what I'm doing this week... making sure this is something I really want... Funnily enough, as per your post, I'm away with the boys this weekend and on Monday I'll revisit the preparation phase.

 

In regards for the outlandish information... I'm not that phased either way with what might come out... to be honest I've also got some "skeletons in the closet" from the break. If its going to work for us it really does have to be a fresh start. Just like when I met her, she had been with other people, as had I, it didn't stop us getting together... thats my attitude now. She's totally free to do as she pleases (as am I)

 

She basically said "F** you" when I said Happy birthday last month and didn't reply ... really its not a big issue I'll just go back to NC and reassess after more time has passed.

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Jack,

 

I think you've got it together, man.

Your plan sounds solid. Get some stuff down on paper this week if it helps, take the weekend away from it, revisit the ideas and then take action.

 

There's nothing wrong with getting an urge like that after the work you've put in.

 

That's the core issue I have with NC. It's helpful to a point, but then forces those who are following it to think something is wrong with them for wanting to make casual contact after they've gone long enough.

 

I had a few break ups before even knowing what NC was. I remember going through a phase of no contact with one of them and then getting in touch a few weeks later and thinking nothing of it. There's absolutely nothing wrong or unnatural about contacting someone you know on a personal level after the dust has settled, as long as you're ready and don't expect anything in return.

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Will do olesun,

 

I'm gonna need at least an entire month or two to get to where I want to be on one of my personal growth paths (taking dance lessons) and so I'm definitely going to stick to the No Contact rule for now.

 

 

Will repost back in a couple months, if not sooner, and hopefully I have made positive progress like you have.

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Hey man great post let me know what you think of these two potential texts and if i should add some more emotion to them like.. Talking about how scared and nervous she was. I sent one of these type of texts to her yesterday and got a fairly neutral response a simple thankyou. Going to send another on thursday or friday

 

So i was just going through my room cleaning some stuff out and found one of those Luna Park card things. It made me think about you for the first time in awhile and some of the fun first time amusement park ride experiences we shared. It put a smile on my face (:

 

So i was just going through my room cleaning some stuff out and found a movie ticket receipt thing that i guess i never gave you. Reminded me of all of those movies we used to see all the time and how you collect all of those tickets. It made me think about you for the first tome in awhile and put a smile on my face (:

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Yes. I think you're on the right track, too.

 

I actually drafted another post for your thread, but ended up deciding against it, as it seems you're set.

 

what do you mean, I'm set? As in, I know what I'm doing? cuz I'm not sure so, lol...

 

Realistically, if this guy lives far away and you're closer, you have a better shot. But don't get cocky with it.

 

I understand. Right now I'm just playing it cool.... at what point do I go out of my way to contact her? because as of now, she's initiating all the contact.

 

 

From what I gathered in your thread, you seem to have a concept that this girl is a force to be reckoned with.

I've been there. But that's putting entirely too much of your fate in the hands of someone else.

 

YOU sir, are the force to be reckoned with. YOU need to call the shots. YOU need to be fly as fly can be when it comes to interacting with her.

 

I agree... but how do I become a force to be reckoned with? Did you ever use jealously tactics (not directly or flaunting) to get your ex back?... like only if she asks, then you say something like "oh yeah, I just got back from dinner with my friend Janelle".. something like that. Like don't initially bring it up, but only respond if they do.

 

 

When you can take the question mark off this sentence and replace it with a period, you will have the right confidence to deal with this situation appropriately.

 

Hmmm, interesting.... I'll take note of this. thanks!

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I've recently heard from a friend and my ex's sister that if I get myself together and stop being so emotional that I can get her back. I sent a simple msg on Valentine's Day saying she was in my thoughts and that I look forward to seeing her at the wedding party. I didn't get a response, and wasn't really expecting one and the party is this Saturday. I know my only goal is to vet through seeing her in one piece and present myself as positive, put together and to make her feel comfortable around me again. Do u have any advice for me? We were together 2.5 yrs and have been apart 8 months with very little contact since November.

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