Mar 18, 2009

WHY Do You Want Your Ex Back?

Every time I stumble across an article, video or ebook entitled, "How to Win Your Ex Back," I wince. These postings are all over the web: How to Get Your Girlfriend Back, I Want My Ex Back, Win Back the Love of Your Life.

My question is, why would you want to?

Now realize, I'm talking about relationships where the girl dumped you, not the other way around. If you were the one who did the breaking up – probably because you thought the grass was greener on the other side – and now you want her back, that's an entirely different situation that I'll address in a future article. For now I'm talking only about you as the dumpee.

The comedian Larry Miller, in one of his specials, told a piece about people who get divorced and then re-marry the same person they got divorced from. He said it's like going to the refrigerator, grabbing a carton of milk, taking a whiff and finding that the milk has gone sour. "Whew!" he said, "that milk's no good. Well, maybe if I put it back in the fridge, it'll be good in a few days."

The same idea applies to the relationship with your ex-girlfriend. If it didn't work the first time, why would it work the second time? Because you've both grown? Because you both made mistakes and have had time to reflect? Because you both realized you were destined to be together? Because it always happens in the movies?

Be honest. How many people do you know who have broken up, got back together and stayed together? I can tell you how many I know: none.

Yep, in the past I've tried to salvage broken relationships, too. And you know what? Once they're broke, they're never right again.

The only realistic option is to get on with your life.

I'm aware this notion won't be at all popular with those ever-hopeful, lovelorn guys who believe that by wishin' and a'hopin' and thinkin' and a'prayin' they'll manage to get that ex-girlfriend back into their arms once again. They would rather waste days and weeks and months moping around, whining and pleading with their former love, rather than simply accepting the fact that good things occasionally do come to an end.

You might ask, why can't it work the second time around? There are many reasons, most of which lie below the surface at a subconscious level. The main reasons, I believe, are these: too many painful memories, basic incompatibility, and the fact that now there's a breakup precedence. Once you've broken up it's just too easy to break up again at the slightest provocation.

With all the available women out there why do guys obsess over the one that got away? I believe it stems from insecurity. Somehow, the fact that one particular woman wasn't attracted enough to remain in a relationship with them reflects badly on their self-identity. They feel diminished. They feel like less of a man.
Many men, subconsciously believe that ALL women must be attracted to them, to one degree or another. We go through life cherishing the belief that every woman we meet secretly wants us. When one makes it painfully obvious that she doesn't, especially one with whom we've had a relationship, it's a massive blow to our ego. Not a very reasonable belief, but that's the male subconscious for you.

Rather than humiliating yourself by whining and pleading with her to take you back, rather than lapping up unrealistic advice on dating forums and prolonging the agony, resolve right now to move forward with your life. Accept the fact – and trust me, it is a fact – not every woman is attracted to you and not every relationship will work out to your satisfaction.

I do heartily recommend examining your failed relationships as honestly and rationally as possible. We learn much more from failure than we do from success. Be brutally honest with yourself. What did you do wrong in the relationship? What did you do right? Maybe there are beliefs, habits or behaviors you should change, though probably not the ones your ex suggested.

I can tell you one thing that every single guy who wants desperately to get his ex-girlfriend back needs to work on: insecurity.

Think about it. If you were truly secure in who you are, if you had high self-esteem, and some girl broke up with you through no fault of your own, why would you ever consider chasing after her? She dumped you, man. No longer wants to see you. (Though she might have tossed you the "I really want to stay friends" bone simply to ease her conscience.) A guy with healthy self-esteem would let her go with a fond farewell and immediately get on with his life.

So get on with your life. Exercise. Go out with friends. Flirt with other women. Throw yourself into your hobbies. If you don’t have a hobby, get one. Do something, anything, rather than sitting home and feeling sorry for yourself. Lay the past to rest right now and move forward. Tomorrow will be a better day, if you’ll let it be.

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