Although most of our breakups are for the best, and allow us to move on to someone new, someone better; there are instances where women can experience “the one who got away”. Whether we were naive at the time, not knowing real love if it slapped us in the face. Or perhaps we “friend zoned” him too soon, dated a few losers afterwards, and realized that ole boy wasn’t that bad after all. Either way, this man is in your thoughts often. When you think of your ideal man, his face immediately pops in your mind. There were no red flags, no past drama, you’ve just learned a few things since then. The million-dollar question is, do I keep the past in the past, or is it safe to give it another shot? Considering that I reunited and married my high school/college sweetheart, AFTER being broken up for 13 years, I have a few tips for you.
- Be certain that he is in fact “the one who got away”. We all know that sometimes we go back to ex boyfriends out of boredom, loneliness, or craving the “familiar” and not realizing that this person was removed from our lives for a reason. Make sure it has been plenty of time for self-reflection, prayer, and all previous issues (if any) are reconcilable before you make any other moves. Before I even entertained my ex, I knew that he had the qualities that I desired in a husband, EVEN IF NOTHING ELSE CHANGED. For more on our rekindled love – turned marriage, read the details in my book The Don’t Before I Do. Main point here, step 1 is extremely important and should not be skipped before moving on to step 2.
- Initiate a soft investigation: I know this sounds a little stalker-ish but hey, let’s not act like we haven’t done this for anyone else. If you aren’t already connected via social media, send a request. If you are, do a quick scroll with the idea of you reuniting in mind. What you are looking for are wedding photos, posts related to him being in love, jet setting with a current boo, etc. If social media is not an option, reach out to a mutual friend to inquire about his status. Do this in a very nonchalant way and do not give the impression that you want him back (no matter how much we want to trust friends, you can never be too safe). If there is any inclination that he is involved…do nothing. Move on. He’s taken, and be OK with that. Take the traits that you really liked about this person, and look for them in the next prospect.
- Send a soft inquiry: If the coast seems clear, reach out. Preferably this should be via telephone or text message. Hit him up with a simple “long time no see”, “just thinking about you, how have you been”, or a “looking good, hope all is well” call or text. If it is a call and he doesn’t answer, leave a short and sweet message “Hey its, ______, just wondering how you were and thought I’d reach out. You can reach me at________”. That’s it. Nothing more nothing less. If you send a DM or text, same thing “just wondering how you were, hope all is well”. If he does NOT respond to the soft inquiry, you already know what to do. He’s not interested, and that’s OK. If he does, boom! Move on to step 3.
- Start anew: If he simply responds with “I am fine, hope all is well with you”. You may or may not have a chance. What you are looking for is him taking the lead. After the soft inquiry, if he starts calling you and texting you, that means it was a pleasant surprise to hear from you and he’s interested in re-kindling. He should initiate the texts, calls, asking YOU out on a date, etc. Once you get in each other’s company, there should not be any talk of “I miss you, I love you, I want you back” coming from you. You are not to pursue, regardless of your history. You show up (looking and smelling great I might add) and see if it leads to a second date, a third, and so on.
- Do it right this time: Hoping that things are going well, take things slow and follow this man’s lead. Make sure he is leading you into a committed courtship, and not just entertaining you as a fling from the past. Don’t rush into sex or fall into the same routine. Appreciate him this time! Consistently compliment him and his efforts, let him know how you are enjoying your time together, etc. It’s one thing to say you’ve changed, but it’s another to show him you’ve changed. You are a woman who appreciates a good man and that is the impression you leave him with. From there…see where it goes.