8 Simple Rules For Dating Your Ex

By Yangki Christine Akiteng, Love Doctor 

 

Dating your ex again isn't the same as dating someone new. You have a romantic history together and that changes the whole dynamics of approaching, asking for a date and entering into a relationship.

One of the hardest things to do is figuring out which behaviors are proper and which are potentially damaging. Here are 8 simple rules that can help you not only make the experience a positive one but actually get your ex back into your life -- for good!

1. Make sure you are emotionally available

So much hurt, so much regret, so much anger and so much fear can make you emotionally unavailable on virtually every level imaginable. If it is likely that you will fail because of a sense of inadequacy/ insecurity, neediness, desperation, guilt, anger, jealousy etc. then don't even start trying to get your ex back. In this state, you are not at your best and you are not thinking clearly and rationally. The amount of time and effort it takes for each person to once again become emotionally available differs according to the time and effort each wastes ranting, raving, stalking, moping around and missing their ex.

2. Be honest with yourself and your relationship worthiness

We've all heard it before, "before anyone can love you, you must love yourself". So before you even contact your ex, remember one very important thing: nothing you do will work without love for yourself. It starts with loving yourself, being honest to yourself and having enough confidence in yourself. When you are honest with yourself, you're able to be honest with others. When you are confident and self-assured, you're able to be assertive with people without being needy, pushy or aggressive.

3. Take responsibility for your part in the break-up and learn from your mistakes

Whether you admit it or not you contributed to the problems in the relationship in some small or large way, so own up and accept your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. When you blame your ex, other people, God or the universe itself, you distance yourself from any possible lesson and acceleration of progress. But if you courageously stand up and honestly say "This is my mistake and I am responsible" even if only privately to yourself, you begin to see a way forward instead of being stuck in the past. And just as you learn when to not fall into the same hole when you're walking around the block, you have more chance of success when you can avoid the same mistakes next time round the block.

4. Do NOT hurry or try to force anything

Be realistic about your situation and what can be achieved in a given time. Trying to put everything on fast forward is a huge mistake that actually slows down the process -- and even permanently halts it. Just because you want your ex back so bad, does NOT mean they feel the same about you at that point in time. As a general rule of thumb, if they haven't responded to your attempts at making contact after three to four tries and you know they have access to phones, email and the internet, let it go and stop trying.

 

They might well surprise you --better to be pleasantly surprised than disappointed and devastated because you acted out of neediness and desperation.

5. Don't try to create the same relationship again, instead create one that is better than the old one

You can not start a new relationship with your ex from where the old one ended. The end of a relationship is literary the death of it. The attraction and feelings you have for each other may still be the same but the relationship you had ended. And precisely because of that painful experience you are no longer the same people. The very experience of breaking-up changes who you are, who you think the other is and how you see reality. Because you are no longer the same people, look at this experience as two new people, starting a new relationship together. You'll find it much easier and you are more likely to get a more positive outcome if you give up the idea of trying to fix an old relationship and instead try to create a new and better one.

6. Use each and every contact as an opportunity to make an emotional connection

Really take the time to focus your attention fully on your ex as a unique individual, even if it's just for a brief period of time. Just being fully present and attentively listening to him or her and what is really going on in his or her life-- feelings, needs, secrets, hopes, fears, embarrassments, expectations -- and then asking the impact of events such as how they felt when a certain thing happened provides the safety and reassurance needed to create emotional intimacy. By doing this, the other person feels seen, heard, validated and cared for.

7. Focus on the positive instead of focusing on the negative

It's impossible to make a positive impression and meaningful influence when you're recalling negative emotions and constantly bringing up bad memories. And it's self-defeating (and stupid) to be trying to get your ex back while at the same time you are blaming, criticizing, lecturing and even arguing with him or her. Nobody likes to have to defend themselves or be forced into a corner. That's just too much stress. If you are distressed by your ex's actions/words then you need to change the way in which you react to them otherwise you are setting yourself up for intense mood swings and even depressive episodes -- let alone another break up.

8. Do not assume anything, always seek to understand and be understood

Always ask your ex for clarification if you are not too sure about what he or she is saying; and be open to several solutions. Look outside the box and see if the two of you can agree on the important stuff and let the small stuff take care of themselves. On some issues, you will have to give in. On other issues, you will have to ask him or her to do something that will bring a calmer perspective to the situation as well as new ideas. If you want him or her to do something and he or she is resisting, ask him or her to try it for a limited time, such as a week, and then evaluate the situation. This makes him or her feel that he or she is not locked into a decision and that you have his or her best interest at heart.

I am not going to lie to you, this is not going to be easy. There will be a lot of work to do and you'll meet with some resistance from time to time. Just remember there are so many men and women out there who have done it!!