You and your ex were together for a while. You had an amazing connection in many areas of that relationship. You probably enjoyed dinner for two when usually it was just for one before you met this special person. Then you probably got annoyed over things you normally weren’t at first, and secretly wanted dinner for one.

Even though you tried to ignore it, neither you or your ex could prevent the fights that led to the worst imaginable fight of them all, which led to one of you breaking up.

Most of us have been there. We had a relationship with someone and something just didn’t work out. There were a lot of fights, misunderstandings, and feelings of hopelessness. It is a sad, confusing, and often lonely period of time. You may have had this happen to you before or have seen someone else go through it. A breakup is never pleasant, even if it was done in a mutual way.

If you did go through a breakup, or you know someone who has recently gone through one, the chances may be high, especially if the breakup ended on a more positive note, that you may want your ex back, or to recover even a friendship with your ex. Whichever you choose, there are things you must do to make the changes necessary.

Before you can even make any change(s), you must retrace your steps and understand when things started to go wrong. Often times what you ignored is what will lead you to your first fight(s). This will guide you on your way to understanding how to fix the problem(s) so that they never return in the future.

If you really truly do not know what led to the fight(s), then you need to take some time to self-reflect. Use this time to really understand how you were feeling before and after each fight, and to really think about each situation the fight(s) occurred.

It may be due to many things at the time, and you may not know how to fix those problems. You do not need to fix these problems just yet, but you do need to know about them, especially if there was a pattern.

After you have figured out what went wrong, then you can proceed to the next steps. The steps that follow include: understanding your partner and being understood in return, showing empathy, and setting boundaries for what is acceptable and what is not. With these three simple steps, you may see positive results.

Understand your partner so that you in return may be understood

It is true that in order to be understood, you must first understand the person you want to be understood by. This idea originated from Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. To understand your partner is to take their perspective into account by communicating with them. This will allow you to understand what led from what to what. It will also show to your partner that you care about them when you want to work things out.

When you are able to put your perspective into account after taking into account the perspective of your partner, you may find that your partner is also willing to listen to you, especially when you have something important to say. This will create not only a loving space for the two of you but space for empathy to enter.

Show empathy

Empathy is an ability you must gain in order to understand how someone feels. By taking into account your partner’s feelings, they will feel like they also matter. This will encourage your partner to open up and be receptive to you as both of you try not to just understand each other, but to understand the feelings both of you have felt and are feeling now.

Without empathy, you may not connect emotionally with your partner. An emotional connection, in my opinion, is the most important way to connect with your partner. An emotional connection with someone is how you begin to connect with someone in many ways, and that is what is needed if you want a romantic relationship again with your ex. People who are empathetic are usually those who draw people to them like flies, simply because they are supportive and caring. However, you will need to note any boundaries either of you may or may not have.

Set Boundaries

If you truly don’t want to see your partner hurting or feeling jealous, it is best to make a list of boundaries that is acceptable to the two of you so that both of you can rely on each other for support instead of knocking that support down for selfish reasons.

Boundaries are also a sign of respect, which is one of the main indicators of a healthy relationship. Your boundaries may be greatly different from your partner’s, so you should want to communicate this clearly to your partner. Your ex may have felt disrespected due to a lack of boundaries, their feelings being disregarded as they were left feeling misunderstood.

Understanding your partner, showing empathy and setting boundaries are very important to solidifying even a friendship with your ex should your ex not want to get back with you. You must respect this decision. Even if you are just friends, you still have a relationship with that person, excluding the romantic and sexual aspects of that relationship.

You may decide in the future to get back together, because many things, like bad timing, can easily influence the decision of someone to want to break up, even if the relationship could have lasted.

If you find that none of these solutions work, that may be because the relationship has deeper problems that may need to be made aware of and sorted out in their own time. I cannot guarantee that you and your ex will get back together, even after these problems are resolved, but I can guarantee you hope for love with someone else if you learn to understand whoever you are with next before wanting to be understood yourself, if you become empathetic, and if you set boundaries for yourself and for the person you choose to love. You may even be lucky now and may have dinner for two if you just believe in love again.

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