Look, I’ll be honest with you from the get-go. If you’re lying awake at night wondering “will she come back?”, the chance that you are actually going to get her back without taking the right actions is low.
I’ve been constantly studying this question since I started Men’s Breakup more than 3 years ago, and this will be one of the most important articles I will write this year.
Now that the obligatory disclaimer is out of the way, I’m about to lay down some numbers.
You won’t like these numbers, but it’s my duty to give them to you regardless. This is me channeling my repressed math nerd.
So here’s the deal, these studies all attempt to answer “will she come back?” with an exact percentage. These studies are NOT perfect, but taken together I think you’ll get what I’m trying to say.
|How Often Do Ex-Girlfriends Come Back?||Did Not Get Ex-Girlfriend Back||Got Ex-Girlfriend Back|
|*Men’s Breakup, 2020||62.7%||37.3%|
|Vennum, Lindstrum, Monk, Adams, 2014||63%||37%|
|**Dailey, Jin, Pfiester, Beck, 2011||40%||60%|
|Langhinrichsen-Rohling, Palarea, Cohen, & Rohling, 2000||60%||40%|
**Measures the percentage of people that reported getting back with an ex at least once in their lifetime.
So even in the most optimistic scenario, you’re looking at a 40% chance of failure, even though a more realistic range is between 62-70%.
At first glance, those numbers look bad, just like this guy in the raccoon pelt’s future job prospects.
To those of you wondering if / when will she come back, looking at these numbers might make you start thinking “Will I ever get her back?”.
And to that point, I have some good news and bad news.
You Won Her Heart Once, But She’s Not Coming Back If You Don’t Change
The good (and the bad) part about any breakup is that the feelings don’t just disappear into thin air. Those numbers I just showed you above are on people who didn’t have a solid plan in place and the motivation to follow through.
That gives you every chance to make this work. If you’re feeling discouraged right now, remember, you were able to do everything right with her once before.
But you can’t approach her the way you approached her before.
You shouldn’t expect her to come back without putting in the work to fix the things that went wrong. If you are unable or unwilling to change, she will walk away for good.
Trust me, watching that happen is not fun. I know a thing or two about that kind of disappointment.
Getting her back is hard work. For many of you guys, getting back together with your ex-girlfriend is going to be harder than meeting a new woman. If you get back together with her you will have to rebuild trust, communication, and intimacy, all while handling her doubts, and possibly reservations of your own.
To make that happen, you need to have the emotional intelligence to figure out where the relationship went downhill, as well as your role in it.
You can’t let your ego force its way into your analysis. If you do…things may go poorly.
…it almost seems like we’ve seen an example of that recently…
That means you can’t blame her for everything. You have to take ownership of where YOU went wrong, and what you did wrong.
Then, instead of pointing fingers like our boy Donny, you need to actually take action to fix it.
For example, if she dumped you because you were too needy, you need to figure out why you were needy, and then fix it. That might mean getting therapy or dating other women to build up your outcome independence.
If you are hell-bent on getting her back, I recommend you book a coaching session with me so you can get feedback from an objective source. It’s worth it, especially if you considering you may be looking at months of work ahead. Better to work on the things that matter if you want her back.
For many of you reading this, however, getting back together with your ex-girlfriend isn’t worth it.
If that seems crazy, remember: your ex-girlfriend is not special. By getting back together with her, you’re choosing a woman who has already rejected you over the possibility of meeting another woman who may be a better fit.
But, if you’re committed to putting in the work, it’s completely possible that she will come back, even if she dumped you. And better yet, you can start right now.
Walk Away And She Will Come Back
Just like the grizzled, smooth-talking cowboy from the Westerns of yesteryear, your path to getting your ex-girlfriend back starts with walking away into the sunset.
A lot of guys I work with panic when the second they feel their ex-girlfriend slipping away. They start seeing signs that she’s never coming back and let their emotions get the better of them. It’s very important that you DON’T let this happen. That means no:
- Begging and pleading with her to take you back.
- Sending her gifts like flowers, chocolate, etc in order to buy forgiveness.
- Trying to make her feel guilty for breaking up with you.
- Blowing up her phone with whiny or pitful text messages looking for sympathy.
- Sending her angry, hateful, or spiteful messages of any kind.
- Blaming her for your problems.
- Threatening or blackmailing her.
- Telling her friends how miserable you are.
- Stalking her or her friends.
- Posting about your relationship problems all over Facebook.
You don’t want her to come back because she feels sorry for you. You want her to come back because her life is better with you in it.
You want her to choose you because you are the best option. That means giving her the freedom to choose you, and then showing her how smart she is for making the right decision.
You start this process by walking away completely. I’ve talked about this concept in detail in my article “Don’t Chase, Let Her Go If You Want Her Back” which I highly recommend you read. It’s one of the best articles I’ve written here.
Once you’ve committed to no contact, I want you to remember 3 words and strive to live by them every day.
“Force Makes Worse”
“Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being “wholly” and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”Bruce Lee
To get her to come back, you need to let it be her idea. You need to let her come back to you at her own pace. That means learning to embrace the principle that “force makes worse”.
To see what that looks like, we’re going to steal a page from Buddhism, soundly demonstrated by one of the best Anime of all time.
I love this clip as a teaching tool. Right away, Rocco expresses his skepticism in what Spike is trying to teach. I expect some of you feel the same about walking away from your ex-girlfriend.
Then, when Rocco tries to force himself on Spike, he gets soundly laid on his ass.
This is exactly what will happen to you if you try to force things with your ex-girlfriend. She’ll resist. Whether she ignores you, blocks your needy ass, or tells you off, you’ll end up worse off than when you started.
What were the 3 words I wanted you to remember?
Force. Makes. Worse.
Instead, you want to be like Spike.
You’re tense, I’m calm. You apply excessive force, I control that force through fluid motion. That means relaxing the whole body so it can react instantly without resistance, and without thought.Spike Spiegal
Spike almost perfectly embodies taking the path of least resistance, much like water does. You want to do the same. Follow the path that’ll get the least resistance from your ex-girlfriend. In other words, the “easiest path”.
Do Less, Achieve More
The easiest path to getting her back is to take no direct action. That means not trying to force yourself back into her life in any way. Wouldn’t it be easier if she just walked back in, instead of you trying to have to force her in?
Stop wasting your energy on chasing her, and use it to figure out what went wrong. Then fix it.
You want to be relaxed and indifferent about what she does, and relentlessly focused on what you do. This mindset is hard to achieve, especially if your breakup is still fresh.
So here’s a trick I learned from a Tibetian Monk many years ago.
Find somewhere that you can comfortably sit with your eyes closed. Focus on taking each deep breath through your nose and a slow exhale after. Don’t ignore your thoughts. Just focus on your breathing rhythm.
Once you’re calm, think of someone other than your ex-girlfriend who makes you really happy. Focus on how you feel about that person, and how grateful you are for them. Keep bringing yourself back to thoughts of how much you care for them for a few minutes.
You may not notice a difference at first, but if you commit to practicing this 3-5x a day, I promise you will start to feel more at peace with the negative emotions from your breakup within a few weeks at most.
When Will She Come Back?
So now you’ve walked away, and you’re doing your best impersonation of Spike, minus the chainsmoking. So by now, you’re wondering something along the lines of “will she ever come back to me?”
As we talked about already, for her to come back, she needs to realize her life is better with you in it. This usually happens around the time she starts missing you.
Whether or not she comes back (and when she chooses to do so) will depend on how she feels about herself, and how she feels about you.
Because both of these fluctuate regularly, it’s impossible to give you an exact answer as to when she’s going to come back. What I can tell you is that most couples get back together within a year of breaking up.
After a year, the chance of her coming back seems to drop dramatically. It does happen, but it doesn’t happen as often. This is an anecdotal observation on my part, so take it for what you will.
It also depends on what type of breakup you went through. If it was an angry breakup (eg. she had a nuclear level meltdown over something), it’s reasonable to assume once she cools off that she will want to get back together. This may take only a few days or weeks.
On the other hand, if she drifts away over time because you weren’t putting enough effort into the relationship, it may take months or even years before she starts missing you.
I do want to warn you though – avoid any material that promises you there’s a quick fix. There are plenty of websites that promise to help you get your ex-girlfriend back in 30 days or less.
Some of these websites are outright scams. Others sell methods that rely on manipulation in order to make her miss you.
I’ve helped thousands of men over the last several years and I can tell you with confidence that these types of programs do not work.
The best way to get her back has nothing to do with her.
It all starts with you.
How To Maximize Your Chances That She Will Come Back
As promised, here’s what actually works to get your ex-girlfriend to come back. Before we dive in, I want to be clear that in order to maximize our chance of success I need you to be disciplined with these recommendations.
The better you are at following these principles, the better your results will be with your ex-girlfriend. Of course, nothing is guaranteed but this will give you the best shot.
1: No Contact From You For Any Reason
It’s critical that you give your ex-girlfriend the time and space to start missing you. It’s impossible to do that if you’re constantly texting her and calling her.
It also gives you the opportunity to create some separation from her, which is incredibly good for your mental health. If you want to learn more, I highly recommend reading about why no contact is so effective.
No contact means no contact. No birthday messages, or talking to her because her cat just died, or “just to check-in”.
Stay off her social media. Don’t talk to her friends. Avoid places you know she’ll be. No gifts.
If she reaches out to you, that’s a different story. But you should NEVER reach out to her if she dumped you.
2: Enact the “Force Makes Worse” Rule
You don’t need to force it with your ex-girlfriend. Her coming back into your life should happen naturally. She will come back if and when the time is right.
Just because you want her back right now doesn’t mean she feels the same way. Don’t project your feelings onto her, that’s only going to chase her further away.
By enacting this rule, you are committing to a hands-off approach. You’re not going to do anything directly related to her, and are instead going to focus only on yourself.
What she’s up to is none of your business. The only person in your life that you can control is you.
So stick to that, and let her come back on her own.
3: Fix What Went Wrong
It should go without saying that you need to fix what went wrong the first time. Getting to the root of what went wrong can be tricky though.
With long term relationships, most breakups tend to center around one or more of the following themes:
- The new relationship energy or NRE (also known as the honeymoon stage) has run out.
- One (or both of you) stopped paying attention to the relationship. Growing apart, lack of touching, lack of sex, and not planning dates all fall under this umbrella. Consistency is key with long term relationships!
- There was a power imbalance in the relationship where one of you was overly dependent on the other.
- The relationship had communication issues. If she dumped you, this may mean she didn’t feel you were listening to her. Women cite communication issues as a reason for the breakup over 80% of the time.
- The trust was broken. This can come from lying, cheating, not following through on your word, etc.
- Inability to compromise on issues both big and small.
- Emotional, physical, financial or intimate abuse. Abuse in a relationship is complicated and often requires professional help to sort out.
- Jealousy and control issues – where one (or more commonly both) of you had self-confidence issues leading to jealousy and wanting to control the other.
Whatever it is. Figure it out, and fix it. I highly recommend you get my help if you are struggling to pin it down.
4: Start Dating Again
I know what you’re thinking.
“But Jack, I want her back! Why should I waste my time and energy dating anyone else?”
There are so many reasons, but we’ll focus on the two most important ones:
1: Your ex-girlfriend isn’t special. Dating new women can make you realize that you don’t really want her back after all, and are just feeling bad because breakups suck.
2: Having redundancy in your dating life helps you master outcome independence. Outcome independence makes it easy to be cool, calm, and collected around your ex-girlfriend. If you can treat her like any other woman, you’ll have a much better shot at starting something new.
To be clear, dating doesn’t mean you’re getting involved in other relationships. It can be as simple as going out to drinks, taking a walk in the park, or something similar.
Don’t make excuses. Your ex-girlfriend will explore her options, if she hasn’t already. You should do the same.
5: Build The Life You Want, On Your Terms
It’s so easy to get lost down a rabbit hole when you’re trying to get her back. Don’t lose sight of the fact that your happiness matters too.
One of the best things you can do to win the heart of any woman (that includes your ex-girlfriend) is to live a great life on your own terms. Don’t let anyone else dictate what it looks like.
Find what you love, and make it a point to do it every single day.
It’s Not “Will She Come Back?” It’s “Will You Want Her Back?”
You might not feel like it right now, but the truth is, you’re in the driver’s seat.
By letting go of her for now you have complete control over what comes next.
This breakup is a chance for you to translate massive action into massive change. Your life is now yours again and it can be anything you want it to be.
Who will you choose to be? The guy who desperately waits for her to reach out, or the guy who’s out there making something for himself?
The choice is yours.
To help you on that journey, I’ve put together a list of my best (free!) resources, which will help you start this journey.
Good luck, not that you’ll need it.