1. Find out if your ex is still interested. Sometimes we want to fight for a relationship that has ended or is in the process of ending. This is not an uncommon thing. In fact, as many as 50% of younger adults reportedly reconcile at least once after a breakup. Try to read the signals to see if your ex is still interested in you.
Be subtle. Your ex may feel badgered if you overdo things – so it’s best to keep your distance, at least at first. Don’t force contact and avoid having friends investigate on your behalf.
Try to glean hints from things like social media, from people like mutual friends, or from your ex-partner if you are still have some contact. Remember: the odds are probably in your favor.
2. Make contact. If you are still interested and have reason to think your ex is, too, you’ll need to reach out. Try something low-key. Send your ex-partner a short message on Facebook, for example, or a short email. Be brief and do not be overbearing, otherwise you may scare them away.
Have a reason for initiating contact. For example, say something like “I was eating ice cream today and it made me think of how much you love Chunky Monkey. How are you doing?” Or, “I just saw your name on Facebook and thought I’d say hi. I hope you’re doing well.”
Let your ex’s response guide the next move. If the reply is curt, i.e. “Yeah, hope you’re well too,” your prospect of a reconciliation might not be good. A more effusive response can indicate interest.
Try to arrange a meeting if the response is positive. Ask to talk over coffee or a drink, for example. Make it clear that you just want a short meeting, with no strings attached.
3. Clear the air. Know what you want to say beforehand and how you want to say it. Choose your words carefully, because your ex probably still harbors strong feelings for you – both good ones and bad. Say what’s on your mind – express regret, apologize if you need to – but be tactful.
Say that you are sorry things didn’t work out and want to talk to put the relationship in perspective, e.g. “I just wanted to see how you’ve been and to talk about what went wrong between us.”
Let the discussion guide what you say. Don’t press the issue if your ex is happy and seeing other people, but gradually steer the conversation toward reconciliation if they seem to retain strong feelings for you.
Take things slowly if your ex wants to rekindle the relationship. There were probably good reasons why things ended, issues that you’ll need to talk through seriously, maybe in counseling.
Be ready to move on if your ex isn’t interested in reconnecting. At the very least, know that you can have final closure on the matter.
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