You think your boyfriend or girlfriend is about to dump you, and you want to know what you should you do. Got it.
Breathe. Slow your mind down and let me help you. It’s what I do.
If you think your significant other is about to dump you, my first question is, what makes you think that? Maybe you are right, but let’s first decide if you might be worrying for nothing (Don’t worry, I’m also going to explain what you should do if your concerns are legitimate, but read the short first part of this article for your own good first).
Was Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend rude or mean to you?
If that is the case, could you have misinterpreted it? It’s possible, right? Or could they have taken something out on you from their day or from something they’re going through?
I’m not defending them if they treated you meanly, rudely, or harshly. There’s no place for that in a caring relationship. I’m just wanting to remind you that no one is perfect and that sometimes we all make mistakes in relationships that we regret later. But it’s also possible that your fear is justified.
Did you hear it from someone else?
If so, consider the maturity of your circle of friends or age group. I know that some of my readers are teenagers. God help you. At that age it is difficult to know if what you’re hearing is gossip, a lie intended to hurt you, something heard incorrectly, or the truth. So remaining calm without an emotional reaction serves you best by far. Sometimes people of that age like drama and to cause drama for their own amusement. If you show them that you are not a potential source for that, that person (or group of people) will likely stop making things up to try to get a reaction from you. Trust me, the cool, calm, and collected people do better in all areas of life than the ones who freak out and air their dirty laundry in public. There will be a time to find out the truth, but it needs to come from your boyfriend or girlfriend. Not the local gossip.
Did your boyfriend or girlfriend ask for time or space?
If they asked you to give them time or space, the most likely way to keep them is to give them exactly what they are asking you to do. Give it to them! Let them experience life without you. That’s the only way they can know that they don’t want to go without you!
Don’t make it easy on them either. Make them experience losing you cold turkey. You need for it to be difficult for them in order for them to miss you. If you are calling, texting, having lunch with them, asking how they are doing, asking mutual friends about them, etc. they are going to get the best of both worlds and not have enough discomfort to want to go back to your relationship. They’ll get to have you and not have you at the same time which means they won’t get the full experience.
You want them to hurt from your absence as much as possible so that they want you back and don’t want to ever let you go again. You don’t want to go through this again, right? So let them learn that it hurts to be away from you. Let them learn that the oven is hot so that they don’t touch it again. If you don’t let them feel the pain of not having you, why would they want you back? Think about it. Please read this last paragraph again so that you can really ingest it mentally.
So while it might be difficult, you would rather hurt a little now from losing them temporarily than a lot from losing them completely. Yes, I know you don’t want to hurt even temporarily, but you can do it. Dig deep.
Let’s Assume You’re Right And They Want To Break Up
I hope what I’m about to say is comforting. Your odds of getting them back and/or only losing them temporarily are better since you won’t be blindsided by the news and since you have found my website. When people didn’t expect to be dumped by their boyfriend or girlfriend, and it happens, they are usually extremely emotional in their response which is always a response that makes your boyfriend or girlfriend want to leave even worse and even faster. Plus, it deters them from wanting to give the relationship another chance at another time because they’ll think that if it doesn’t work out that you’ll be dramatic, crying, yelling, awkward, stalkerish, etc. So acting that way just gives them less of a reason to want to give the relationship with you another try and more incentive to stay away.
So if you are right and your significant other wants to break up with you, here is what you should do to have the best chance at preventing them from breaking up with you. I didn’t say it was a guarantee, but I am saying that this will give you the best chance to save your relationship.
And I also didn’t say it would be easy (Read back over what I said above. I never said this was an easy way to stop your boyfriend or girlfriend from breaking up with you). I just want to make that clear.
What To Do If You Think Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend Wants To Break Up
1. Do not act like something is wrong in front of them. Again, show them you are a confident and self-assured person who isn’t going to believe gossip or read too much into their actions. You know you’re a great catch so you assume nothing is wrong. You aren’t going to become needy and start blowing up their phone or asking their friends about it. You’re going to remain positive and focus on the great things in your life. This is the most attractive thing that you can do and you want to be as attractive as you can right now if your boyfriend or girlfriend is thinking about breaking up with you.
2. Pull back from them a little. It might surprise you that I say that, but it is so important. You have already read what I said above about needing them to miss you and to know what it’s like to be without you. That’s part of the reason for why you should do this (without overdoing it or being too cold). But it also works in another exceptionally powerful way to make it a double edged sword in your arsenal to keep this other person with you.
To explain, I want you to consider the mind of your boyfriend or girlfriend right now. If they are thinking they might want to break up with you, it’s because they doubt their future with you. Why? There are a lot of potential reasons, but whatever the reason, it was put under the magnifying glass by your significant other losing some attraction for you – be it physical attraction, emotional attraction, or intellectual attraction (or a combination). In the mind of your boyfriend or girlfriend, you are, at this moment, more attracted to them than they are to you. That concerns them. Without being able to verbalize it, they want it to be equal or to be attracted to you a little more than you are to them. Again, this isn’t something that any of us could verbalize or understand about ourselves, but if there comes a point where we feel that the other person is more attracted to us than we are to them, we lose even more attraction and doubt the relationship. That’s just human nature.
So, use this covert knowledge to your advantage. Prevent them from thinking that you are more into them then they are into you. At least don’t remind them if that is currently the case. If you are texting them nonstop, talking to them more than usual, being the one to reach for their hand first, and constantly sweet talking them without letting them do it first some of the time, you are putting a giant magnifying glass on their doubts.
Instead, make them doubt their doubts. If you think your boyfriend or girlfriend is about to break up with you, go into a “mode,” where you are only going to respond to their initial text for a day or two. That doesn’t mean you become a bad conversationalist (or an unresponsive girlfriend or boyfriend). But wait on them to text you. Reduce and slow down the texting. Wait on them to say, “I love you,” or reach for your hand. Basically, just let them come to you. Be gentle. I didn’t say to be cold and distant. I said, pull back a little.
This way they witness themselves texting you, reaching for your hand, etc. and subconsciously their mind kind of says, “I like this person. I am attracted to this person. My actions prove it.” Whereas if you are the one texting first constantly, reaching for their hand first, asking them out, calling, etc., you are showing them how attracted you are to them. There is a place for all of that because we all want to feel wanted and desired. But right now, we want to show them how attracted they are to you. It’s subtle and it’s something you will need to do every now and then in your relationship. Always be gauging where your boyfriend or girlfriend is. Do not push or chase. Keep it equal or let them chase you a little bit. Walk that fine line with patience and confidence and you’ll be glad you did.
3. If they actually do say they want to break up. Stay calm. I really mean it. If you are calm it’s far more attractive and less damaging than if you freak out. Think about it. Have you ever thought, “Gee, that person freaking out and losing their crap is so hot”? No, you haven’t! So stay calm if they break up with you. It doesn’t mean that it’s over. It really doesn’t. No one is ever one hundred percent sure when they break up with someone and I’ve already shown you how to make them doubt their doubts. You can scream, cry, and pitch a fit later in private. But not in front of the person you want to get back.
So your boyfriend or girlfriend has said that they want to break up. Your verbal response should be something like, “Okay, I’m sorry to hear that. Well let me know if you change your mind. I wish you the best. Take care.” And try to end the conversation right away. DO NOT ask about their reason because it actually doesn’t matter (Remember, it comes down to them not seeing a future with you due to an issue that has only become important because they’ve lost attraction for you). You will need to determine this issue at some point, but right now it’s pointless.
So you are going to then start a period of No Contact (see article). That’s where you do not contact them in any way at all. No texts, no calls, no online messages, no asking their friends about them, no smoke signals, no telegrams, no Morse code, no communication of any kind whatsoever. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. You let them experience what they think they want. That way, they base their decision on getting back with you based on what the relationship was like instead of you whining, crying, begging, pleading, yelling, and the other emotional tantrums people often do in a very misguided effort to get their ex back but that actually repeals them faster than anything else. Which do you think is more attractive? Leave them with the relationship itself as your resume and not your reaction to the breakup.
What they don’t need at this point is more of your presence. We only tend to appreciate things when they are gone and if they think they want you out of their life, putting more of you in their life, especially in the emotional state that most people go into after being dumped, is only going to make them take you for granted to the point of being pushed away and wanting you gone even more.
After your boyfriend or girlfriend breaks up with you, there is almost always a scarcity mentality that people feel that makes the person who dumped them seem even more attractive than before. So you will want to reach out and pull the person who dumped you to you. It will be an intense desire that you must fight if you really want to get this person back because trying to push yourself onto them only pushes them further away. It won’t feel good to let go temporarily. But I am telling you that if you want this person back, you have got to find the will to do it.
Give Them The Breakup So They Can See That They Don’t Want It
Give them up to what they think they want and they will have a void where you used to be. They need to notice it and feel it so that they doubt their decision.
The doubt builds and then they begin to wonder why you haven’t reached out to them. The next step your ex will go through in their thinking process during no contact is a state of fear. Their doubt turned the focus back on you even though you had done nothing (all part of the plan), which made them notice your absence and wonder why you haven’t reached out. That occupies their thoughts to the point that the thought occurs to them that maybe they have actually lost you. That maybe you aren’t ever going to contact them. This only happens when enough time has passed that they can believe that you really won’t contact them again. This is when, if your relationship was a good one and had more than just a couple of months of existence, your ex begins to freak out. How’s that for turning the tables? It might take a while to get there. For some it’s weeks. Others months. But just because you haven’t heard from them doesn’t mean that they aren’t experiencing chaos without you. It just has to go on long enough for them to become desperate in a way.
At this point, your ex begins to think about contacting you maybe just to test the water. Maybe just a, “How are you,” text. They might think about this for several days or weeks. When it happens, you are to be on your best, most upbeat behavior. You are doing great! Tell them a bit of good news that happened to you. Do not mention the breakup. Do not ask if they are ready to get back together. Do not tell them you missed them. Do not discuss “the breakup” at all. I know you will want to do those things but if your real goal is to get this person back, do not do it. Be strategically patient. If you love this person, it’s a small price to pay to get them back!
If it’s a conversation that has more than just a couple of messages back and forth, assume they want to get together, but stay calm and casual. Do not celebrate until the fish is back in the boat. Make light, playful conversation with them. After a solid number of messages back and forth, you will need to make a judgement call. Your desire to get them back might cloud your judgment so be aware of that. You need to decide if inviting them to meet you for coffee makes sense. If they reached out to you, the odds are good that they want to see you. And in person is where the true magic of getting back together can really happen. So saying something as simple as, “We should catch up. When are you free for coffee?”
If they respond positively, set the date and meet them. If they decline, simply say, “Okay. Maybe another time. I’ve got to run do _______. Good to hear from you.” And go back to no contact. The odds are, they will reach out and you do the exact same thing.
When You Meet With Your Ex
If and when they accept your invitation, do not make it an emotional, dramatic reunion. Stay casual and relaxed. The other person still needs to feel that things are different since they broke up with you. You aren’t just going to jump back into their arms. Remember, they don’t get to have you and not have you at the same time. Have some stories to tell them about some interesting or great things that have happened to you since you last saw them. Then ask them what’s been happening with them.
During the conversation, casually bring up something funny or a great time the two of you had doing something. For example, you could say, “A friend of mine invited me to that restaurant we went to where you tried duck for the first time. Do you remember that?” That’s not even a good example. If there’s a funny story or a very romantic time you can casually mention in that way, it subconsciously opens the door to the relationship again. It reminds them of what you two had.
The end game here is different from person to person. Sometimes a kiss at the end of the get together is all it takes to get you two on the path to being, “back together.” But even after that, don’t get too serious or define the relationship. You don’t, under any circumstances, want your ex to think that you have been sitting around, missing them and waiting for them to come back. If they asked if you missed them, say something like, “Of course I did,” and leave it at that. Don’t tell them how you stayed in bed crying and eating ice cream. Tell them about fun times with your friends, a trip you took, good business happenings, a new achievement in sports (ran a race, low score in golf, rec center team did well, etc.), a new skill you’re learning like an instrument or class, and things along those lines. During the no contact period, actually do these things so that you’ll have great things to share with them during this conversation and to better yourself for YOU.
Be patient and continue letting them come to you at this point. Let the relationship naturally get back on the rails. Do not over-pursue and overwhelm them with your presence. Leave them wanting more or else they could want less. To get my help with your specific situation and a tailored map to getting your ex back, click here to schedule a coaching session with me.