This is probably the single most common question people ask when seeking love advice.

relationship breakupMy answer? Well, first, you better do some hard thinking and be sure you want him or her back. If you’re just clinging to the memory of this person because you don’t want to be alone, you’re not likely to get them back and keep them. Trust me. You need to rebuild your relationship on a firm foundation and some serious rules.

Sit down and write a list – by hand is best, so get a pencil and paper – of why, exactly, you want this person back. If it’s just, “Because they dumped me,” forget it. You need a better reason than that.

Many experts recommend a “cooling off period,” a.k.a. “the silent treatment.” I also think this is a great idea. No contact with your ex for at least a month. Why?

Well, it gives you a chance to think about what I just asked you. Do you really want this person (who dumped you) back in your life? Make that list of pros and cons about your ex and about your relationship. Over 30 days you will have plenty of time to add to both columns. Really think about it. If, at the end of that time, you’re still sure you want him or her back, you can proceed.

  • TIP:  If you’re unsure whether there’s even a chance that your ex will still take you back, try out this free quiz tool… it takes 5 minutes to complete and will give you a clear idea of where you stand with your ex.

That month-long cooling off period was the first step, anyway. It sent a message to your ex that you aren’t desperate, that you aren’t going to come slobbering and begging and crying for them to take you back. You’ve had a month of dignity. And during that time, he or she has been wondering what you’re doing. [RELATED: Why ignoring your ex will help you get them back]

And that’s what you want. Maybe it sounds like a cliché, but most of the rules for dating and relationships are clichés, since people figured them out centuries ago, just like Egyptian women figured out sexy eye makeup three thousand years B.C. So there’s nothing really new under the sun, as the saying goes.

You want your ex to wonder what you’re doing. You want him or her to think about you and be curious and, eventually, initiate contact with you. During that silent period, you want your ex to think that maybe you’re out having a great time – without them.

self improvementNow here’s the clincher – you don’t want to just act like you’re having a great time. You need to really do it. So you need to go out with your friends, take a fun trip, join a fun club (remember, social and athletic community clubs are great places to meet quality single people, which might just solve the problem of getting your ex back for you by making it a non-problem. I’m just sayin’), take some classes (cooking classes anyone? Sailing? Skydiving?).

If your ex dumped you, which seems like the most likely scenario if you’re trying to get them back, then you need to get some of your joy back if you’re ever going to have any hope of winning them back. You need to heal yourself and have fun, even if it’s only to prove to yourself that you can. Trust me. You can. You will.


Now Lisa, you tell me, I’m so miserable after being dumped that I couldn’t possibly have fun or laugh or enjoy myself.

I understand. Believe me, I’ve been there. But there’s a good saying out there which applies in this situation – fake it until you make it. So even if you’re feeling wretched, you need to get out there and do stuff. Go on dates, too, because that’s fun and will get your mind off your misery.

Once your 30 days of non-communication (30 days of fun) are over, if you’re still determined to get your ex back, your best chance is to contact them over something trivial. Many experts recommend texting them to ask about something, like the name of a restaurant you went to. Feeling devious? Hint that you’re asking because you want to take a “friend” there. That’ll get them thinking about you. [RELATED: Five Text Messages to Send to Your Ex ]

Better still – email your ex a picture of yourself skydiving, or sailing, or something like that. You don’t have to send it directly to them, just CC them on an email blast to your 20 closest friends. “Hey everybody! I went skydiving this weekend – what a blast!”

happy againThe message here is – I’m thinking about you, sort of, but I’m not obsessing over you. Obsessing over your ex is the surest way of driving them away forever.

If these sorts of neutral communications result in a reply, you can proceed from there. Be friendly, but not desperate. Don’t ask your ex to get back together – that’s my advice every time. They dumped you – let them do the asking, if it ever happens. The best you can do for yourself is to shake off the breakup and show the world (and your ex) that you’re having a fun time, lots of adventures, loving life.

Remember to focus on yourself. That will bring out your natural attractive qualities – every person is more attractive when they are happy, laughing, and having fun.

This free video presentation by breakup guru Brad Browning is the best place to get more info on how to win back your ex (especially if you’re facing a unique or unusual situation).  Click here to watch the video for women (if you want your boyfriend back), or click here for the men’s video (if you want your girlfriend back).

Good luck, I’ll be rooting for you!