Did you know that breaking up changes your relationship with your ex?
I know…obviously…the two of you are no longer in a relationship.
But there are other subtle changes that many people don’t think about which will affect how you interact.
And it’s important to understand these changes if you’re trying to get your ex back.
This is not just about how your ex feels about you and the relationship. It’s also about how the breakup has affected you. I just want you to know that this is a normal part of breaking up and that you shouldn’t have any shame around these feelings or try to change them.
You also shouldn’t be angry at your ex for how they’re feeling. This new dynamic is not something that you can’t completely erase but you need to be aware of it if you want to maximize your chances.
1. You have new and different boundaries
Many people run into trouble with their exes because they try to treat them the exact same way they did when they were together. This is only natural, especially if you want them back.
You may just want to pretend the breakup never happened or you think that if you can just make the time together feel like it did in the past then it’s going to show them that you can still be together in the same way.
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But unfortunately this doesn’t work because you two have new boundaries that were brought on by the breakup. As much as you don’t want to admit it, you’re no longer a couple. You–hopefully–don’t live together. You don’t talk all the time, and you don’t share your lives the way you used to.
You put up walls the second that one of you decided to end the relationship. This is what makes you exes. These walls protect you both from further heartbreak and give you room to heal.
You can no longer show them affection in the same way even if you want to because you’re protecting yourself.
This is a very sad realization but it comes with benefits as well. You no longer need to feel responsible for their happiness. And imagine how difficult this breakup would be if you still needed to be present and give them all the same things you did while you were in a relationship. It would be almost impossible.
So recognize these boundaries and don’t cross them if you want your ex back. Don’t call them by pet names or try to touch them. Don’t send them messages in the middle of the night and don’t pour your heart out to them.
Crossing boundaries like this sets off alarm bells in your ex’s mind because it shows them that you don’t respect their decision to break up and you don’t respect their autonomy. Respect their boundaries and you’ll make your ex more comfortable.
2. You both hold resentment
No matter how smoothly you think your breakup went, both of you hold resentment towards one another on some level.
Odds are resentment contributed to the breakup in the first place and there’s a good chance that one or both of you said some things during the breakup that caused hurt feelings. And, of course, you’re probably feeling the most resentment of all because you’ve been dumped.
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Within a relationship, resentment is offset by all the love and affection that you give to one another. You can also communicate to clear away these negative feelings. But now that that’s all gone, you’re left to stew in this resentment with no positive outlet.
This can affect how you treat one another on a subconscious level. Maybe you want a little payback. You’re looking to level the playing field so you’re a little bit rude when you talk to them. Maybe you talk bad about them to a mutual friend. These are subtle actions but it’s important to be aware of them and where they come from.
Don’t let the resentment you feel dictate how you treat your ex. Remember that getting your ex back and getting even with them are two competing interests and that you need to let one of them go.
3. You have something to prove
One thing that is lost after a breakup is equality. Sure, every relationship has a different power dynamic but a good relationship is fairly equal. But when your ex decided to reject your love by breaking up with you, they destroyed that equality.
Now, whether you know it or not, you’ve become the underdog in this situation simply because you’ve been rejected. This is an unavoidable consequence of a breakup and it can make it difficult to reconcile because it will affect how you treat one another.
Because you feel like you have to win back your ex’s love and their esteem, you might find yourself acting in ways that are only going to make things worse. Some people respond by treating their ex poorly in order to try to convince themselves that they’re the better person.
Others will treat their ex TOO well to try to show them that they really can make them happy. These are natural responses to being dumped but they’re both going to create tension between you and your ex.
4. You’re nervous around one another
Remember when you first met? How nervous you were? Well these nerves have returned but in a very different way. Now that you’ve broken up, you two are confused about how to treat one another.
On one hand, you have all this history and there’s clearly still love and affection there. On the other hand you have lost that connection that you once had and you’re full of this resentment and confusion.
So now, when you see one another, you’ll find that you may be stumbling over your words and overanalyzing everything you do and say. This can really impact the process of getting back together because that ease of communication is one of the best parts of a relationship.
Now that it’s gone, you’re going to struggle to make that connection and because of that, your ex is going to be less inclined to take you back.
So just don’t be nervous… just kidding. I know it’s not that easy. But just be aware that this is normal and that your ex probably feels just as nervous as you do. As time goes on, these nervous feelings will fade away and you’ll be able to recapture that old magic.
5. Your priorities have changed
Breaking up can create a seismic shift in your priorities almost instantly. You no longer have to prioritize this other person in your decisions moving forward.
Sure, you don’t want to do anything that would hurt them but you also don’t have to make space in your life for them. You can make decisions that they wouldn’t approve of. You can stay out all night with friends, you can change your appearance, and you can basically do whatever you want.
This new freedom is great but it also means you and your ex will be making decisions that will take you further away from each other. As much as you’d like to stop this from happening, unfortunately it’s totally out of your control.
All you can do is keep moving forward and hope that when the time comes to reconnect, you two haven’t diverged too drastically. Luckily, short of one of you moving to a different continent, it’s pretty rare that you’ll change too much to be able to reconcile.
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You also may be tempted to keep putting their feelings first in all your decisions, if you want them back. This makes sense on paper but you need to learn to start putting yourself first if you’re going to have any chance.
If you don’t, your ex is going to realize what you’re doing and feel pressured to do the same. And, even if they don’t notice, by continuing to live for them rather than yourself, you’ll fail to rebuild the confidence you lost when they ended the relationship.
I advise you to get out there and live your life. Get your mind off your ex and make decisions to make yourself happy and fulfilled. Take back your life and live it.
So these are the ways that breaking up has changed your relationship with your ex. Hopefully you’ve seen that while there are a lot of sad things on this list, there are also some happy things as well. In fact, shaking up your relationship in this way, while painful, can be a welcome change in the long run.
It can show you and your partner new things about each other and change how you interact in a powerful way.
Just make sure that you’re aware of all of these factors going forward because they’re going to affect how you and your ex treat one another and this knowledge can make all the difference.
How To Get Your Ex Back
But what if there was a way to make all of this easier? Well it turns out there is. One of the best ways to combat some of these changes I’ve talked about is with 30 days of No Contact. Basically it’s about taking 30 days after a breakup where you don’t speak to your ex or communicate in any way. This helps you reset your feelings and get out of the negative headspace you’ve been in.
It also makes your ex miss you a lot which can go a long way to bringing back that equality that you’ve lost. It gives you time to improve yourself and process what went wrong. If you can make it the full month without communicating, you’ll find that a lot of these negative feelings have started to fade away.
Once this process is over, you can begin to reach out to your ex and start to reconnect. And when you do, make sure that you create a new, different relationship that’s informed by this time apart rather than being defined by the same old problems that led to the breakup in the first place.