The problem with schemes involving reconciliation is that they over-complicate a situation that is in dire need of clarity. In general, if something becomes confusing to the point that it becomes draining, it is cast aside in frustration — regardless of the underlying intent.
If you’ve been told that winning your ex back involves acting, manipulation or reverse psychology, chances are you are shooting yourself in the foot. Even if you aren’t quite as transparent as you think you are, erecting a house of cards means that one wrong move and it comes crumbling down.
Forget the mind games; you don’t need them. What you might be in need of, is a plan to reduce the complexity of the situation and force the answers you need. Without tearing your ego to shreds in the process.
Open A Conduit
First thing’s first. If you can’t communicate, you can’t reconcile. It’s as simple as that.
Given how turbulent most breakups are, communication may have shut down. We now have to open it up again, but doing so correctly will depend on how the relationship ended.
If it ended badly choose an impersonal medium such as Email, so you can say what you need to say without being blindsided by emotion, and they are free to answer if, and when they choose to. On their terms.
If it ended well and you are sure that contact is welcome. Reach out using a more personal medium. The caveat here is that they must know what your intent is. If they have no idea you want to reconcile, or that the only reason you are communicating is to get back together, start with an impersonal medium until they get the message. You don’t need to blurt out your intent, but the conversation shouldn’t stray too far from the point, which is your mutual feelings and overall emotional direction.
No matter what is said, you should have a general sense of how things are going. If your prodding is well received, there should be a subtle attempt at escalation on your part. Which is to say that you make the means of communication increasingly personal.
Email -> Text Message -> Text Chat -> Phone Conversation -> Face To Face
Escalating slowly minimizes risk, but it isn’t a magic bullet. If there is no real desire to reconcile, you may find resistance somewhere along the line.
Where you are resisted says a lot about what your ex’s feelings are. Regardless though, if we feel that we’re brushing up on a wall of resistance, we need to ease up. If you do need to continue contact, fall back to a more impersonal medium to do so. One that was comfortable for them to begin with.
The Art Of Communication
Hopefully now communication is established, and by established, I don’t mean you are now poking each other on Facebook or exchanging pet photos. I mean to say that there is a mutual drive to discussing personal feelings. Bear in mind that most attempts at reconciling never make it this far, because most schemes aim at exacerbating insecurity (no contact, mixed signals, and so on…), and consequently destroy any pretense of crystal-clear communication.
Being direct can give you the illusion that you are scaring them off. But an ex that wants to reconcile will jump at the chance to negotiate. Wouldn’t you?
All you are doing is discarding the crumbs and a grey area in favor of the truth. And admittedly, the truth can sometimes hurt, but rather than face it after months of self-esteem destroying mind games; you are getting the answers you need immediately. Again, don’t be afraid of being direct, be afraid of leading yourself on when you could get cracking building a new life instead. That is where the real damage lies.
There is a difference between pushing too hard, which is fundamentally selfish, and being direct, which is selfless (because you are opening yourself to rejection but making communication clearer for both of you).
Once you feel that you have a workable conduit and that you are in control enough to at least know what you want to say (and hear them say), it’s time to address needs. If successful reconciliation is anything at all, it is a negotiation. If you aren’t, or they aren’t, willing to undergo a modicum of sacrifice, you might as well pack up and move on now.
Negotiating Wants, Respecting Needs
Before you negotiate it bears remembering that needs are something we all have that cannot be negotiated. Often we make the mistake, to get them back, to make promises we both know we can’t keep (even if we mean them at the time).
If we attempt to offer our needs up as a prize for reconciling, we will only make ourselves miserable in the long run. Additionally, most exs know us better than we think and will see our over-commitment to sacrifice as a sign that we are drowning in insecurity and desperation. It might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Stand firm when it comes to protecting your needs because it means protecting the relationship itself. If you can’t function as an individual, you can’t function as a partner. Most otherwise functional relationships die a co-dependent death. Safeguarding your core needs is the way to stop this from happening.
Your wants are tinder for the reconciliation fire, and juggling them successfully can mean erecting a better, fresher, stronger future relationship. It means identifying what fundamentally went wrong, and offering your wants as a way to twist what was bent back into shape.
Contact Means Touching Too
Erecting contact is important, but communication via third-party media is only a means to an end. Eventually, there will come a time when body language and intimacy will speak volumes more than any objective Email ever could.
Knowing when to transition from text to touch is a question of emotional stability. Don’t let your desire to engage with them get in the way of getting this right because face to face communication with an ex rarely plays out the way the theatre in your mind has scripted it. Be ready for anything, including them, not showing up. If you can stomach that, go for it.
Judging body language is intuitive to us, even if we have no training in it, and will tell you far more than any article online ever could. Even the psychologically illiterate of us subconsciously knows that getting a bad vibe from someone face to face is usually a result of conflicting body language. If things feel awkward or weird, look to the body. If you want a quick way to induce a state of rapport when it might be missing, imitate.