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Chances are, if you're coming out of a relationship that ended up in a breakup, that you had pre-breakup foresights for which you had subconsciously selected to ignore. There are certain signs that are present in almost every bad relationship, sometimes we do not recognize them until after the relationship is completely over, after the grieving has finally passed, and when we begin to realize that we actually are starting to feel GOOD...in fact, we feel BETTER THAN EVER!
Now many of you out there will say "Absolutely not. Our relationship was GREAT, then out of the blue they broke up with me." While it may be likely that this could have been the case, more than likely there were signs of an impending breakup that you chose to not acknowledge. As I have stated before, these signs are often only recognizable once we are out of the relationship, moved passed the grief and started the healing process. We all of a sudden feel this enormous sense of relief! Like the clouds have parted, a ray of sunshine has sparked our souls and a heavy, leaden weight has been lifted off our backs. It is the most refreshing, cleansing, truly wonderful feeling!
That is when you can honestly recognize all those unheeded signs of your doomed relationship that you couldn't see before: Such as: Lack of energy and enthusiasm. Discouragement. Irritability with friends, co-workers, and family members. Avoidance, or dread, in seeing your significant other. Feelings that you gave more than you received. Being self-critical and suddenly lacking feelings of self-confidence. Doubting your adequacy, intelligence, or performance when in the presence of your significant other. Unexplained uneasiness or uncomfortable feelings when you were around your significant other. Feeling as if you were singled out for criticism, but rarely, if ever, acknowledged for things you did well. Feeling as though you had to consistently defend your actions. Feelings that your significant other purposely sponged up all the bad things about you, or your relationship--no matter how minute, no matter if your ex even had to invent problems. Feelings of resentment that others got better treatment, more respect, more time, and/or more positive attention than you from your significant other. Difficulty thinking straight, or focusing on your job. Frequent physical illnesses such as colds, flus, upset stomach, or headaches. Subconscious , or conscience, obsessive habits such as nail biting, over-eating, obsessive dieting, drinking, or drugs. Constant feelings of being forced to take the defense, the need to point out your side and point of view. Sudden, unexplained jealousy over inanimate, insignificant , or unwarranted objects such as his sports game, her hobbies, his interests, his friends, her family, or even their cat.
Hell, doesn't it feel good to be rid of these feelings!?
(Click here for more warning signs of the end of a relationship.)
Identifying your ex (and yourself).
The JUDGE. Continuously complains, advises, and finds fault.
The VICTIM. Sits on his pity-pot, wracked with sympathy for his "woe is me" life.
The KILLJOY. Constant spoilsport. Pessimistic and negative.
The PULVERIZER. Insensitive, arrogant, appears selfish, self-centered and extremely apathetic.
The NEWSMONGER. Rumors and gossip is this persons forte.
The DIRECTOR. A total control freak.
The ILLUSIONIST. Truly a falseheart. Back stabber. Tends to be two-faced, dishonest, and cunning.
The SNUB. Gives you the cold-shoulder. Aloof, disengaged, and distant. Avoids contact.
The CONTENDER.Consistently competing. Takes sides and keeps track tit for tat.
The OLYMPIC GAMER. Always striving for more, never satisfied. Pushes themself to the limit. Tends to over-work.
The JERK. Arrogantly makes crude suggestions. Flirtatious. Untrustworthy. Invading and harassing. Offensive. Unfaithful.
The SILLY PUTTY. Weak-kneed, mealymouthed. Overly eager to please. Can change entire persona to meet another's expectations.
The GREEN-EYED OGRE. Rages with envy. Jealous, over-possessive.Covetous of.
The BANG. Highly explosive personality. Seethes with rage. Easily riled.
The DOWNER. Constantly down-and-out. Needy. Suffocating. Soaks up all you have to give, and rarely, if ever, gives anything back.
The JUDGE. Perfectionalistic. Driven. Bossy. Judgmental. Superiority complex. Arrogant. Criticising. Draining. Instructing. Faultfinder. The Judge comes on as a know-it-all. You will feel like you are constantly being scrutinized. Every fault or flaw that could possibly exist the JUDGE will find it. The Judge tells you how to drive your car, how to change the baby, how to balance your checkbook, and even what clothes to wear. They talk to you as if you were 8-years-old and incapable of understanding beyond a second-grade level. The Judge complains about the way you clean, the way you do the laundry, the television programs you like. They drain you of your energy and make you feel defeated and inadequate. The Judge calls all the shots in your relationship. Their constant criticism will keep you on the defensive 24-seven. They are more like your boss, father, mother, or teacher, than your lover or best friend. Living forever with this person would be similar to spending the rest of your life as an inadequate child.
The VICTIM. Defeatist attitude. Passive. Self-blaming. Totally helpless. Irrational feelings of doom. Brooding. Gloomy. Worry wart. The VICTIM's life can tragically collapse over the simplest of things, such as spilling a glass of milk or forgetting to close the garage door. The Vicyim wallows in self-pity and pooh-poohs any advice of any kind. There is always a reason why a plan couldn't possibly work. The Victim worries over EVERYTHING, and often has insomnia. They believe they are cursed. They often feel like they are utterly helpless. The VICTIM wouldn't dare risk entering any confrontation, or competition, because they already knows they would be defeated. Staying with the VICTIM will most assuredly drain you of every ounce of your energy. Your days will be cloudy, and your nights will be the dark before the gloom. Your total essence will disappear as you slowly become consumed from caring for this person.
The KILLJOY. Negative-minded. Cynicism. Pessimistic. Discounting. Deflating. Critical. Despondent. Passively hopeless. Rejecting. The KILLJOY will break your spirit and make you feel like "why bother?". They will thrive on bursting your bubble, or raining on your parade. If you want to go back to school The Killjoy will point out a hundred reasons why it wouldn't work. If The Killjoy gets a promotion they just know it's because their company is really planning on going under next spring. You most assuredly won't be able to enjoy a night out at the movies because they think it's a stupid flick and, anyway, they just have this nagging headache. You tend to hide your excitement over things because you know The Killjoy will deflate it in a minute flat. Throw any idea at them and they most likely will find a reason why it won't work. Living with this person would be like trudging through a maze of endless, wearisome dead-ends. Pretty soon your smile will fade and your shoulders will droop. And most assuredly all hope will fade and you will eventually lose your ability to dream. Staying with this person will guarantee you a life of sadness, misery, and drudgery.
The PULVERIZER. Bullying. Arrogant. Know-it-all. Self-righteous. Authoritive. Fiercely independent. Blaming others, not responsible for their own actions. Condescending. Users. Makes friends, or seeks out only those people, that may have something that The PULVERIZER thinks may be gainful to themself. Discards others needs or wants. Boisterous. Obstinate. Stubborn. Offensive and rude. Ignorant. The Pulverizer will always be in the drivers seat, and if you don't jump in quickly they will run right over you. They are insensitive and will cut you to the bone with their rude insults. They are loud and often embarrassing. You feel that The Pulverizer doesn't really need you for anything, and you often feel unimportant, unappreciated, and easily replaceable. The Pulverizer tends to seek out and befriend only those for whom they believe may benefit them in their own personal gain. You tend to go out of your way to please this person. You feel they are overly judgmental of you and you often feel like a child around them. You have never won an argument, nor convinced this person that their point of view is not always necessarily the ONLY point of view. You are convinced that at any time this person could drop you like a hot potato and never look back. Their sports are more important than you. Their friends are too. And their hobbies. Their dog. Their car. Living with The PULVERIZER is the worst possible place to spend your life. You will never be right, never be special, and never be important. It's highly unlikely that this person will even notice you are there. You will spend your life hiding in the background, waiting and hoping that The PULVERIZER comes out of 'themself 'and notices you there. You will live all week long for that one-second of acknowledgement that The Pulverizer gives you, usually its just a pat on the head ( like you were a good-little-doggy) but by this time you are so starved for attention and acknowledgment that that one pat can melt your heart like an island of velvety roses.
The NEWSMONGER. Gossips. Talks too much. Nosy and intrusive. Lies for no apparent reason. Enjoys destroying others. Plastic and superficial. Self-righteous. The NEWSMONGER will always air every detail of your relationship to all those who will listen. You will feel as though there is nothing sacred or intimate left between you. They are so involved in everyone else's life they have no real clue as to what is actually going on in their own. The Newsmonger belittles you to others, and others to you. You feel you cannot trust them. You always feel like they are keeping a secret from you. If you live with The NEWSMONGER odds are you will never feel like you have a best friend, or confident in this person. You will never be able to share with this person your deepest feelings or emotions. You will feel denied the pleasure of having anyone to turn to, or lean on, and you will end up feeling alone and resentful. This person will never know how to have fun, and will only enjoy themself at the expense of yours and other people's lives.
The DIRECTOR. Offensive. Obstinate, they KNOW their way is the only right way. Intrusive. Obsessed with certain issues. Tries to change everyone around them. Demanding perfection both from themselves and others. Low tolerance to normal human mistakes. Over critical. Sulking and self-centered. Easily aggravated by unimportant issues. Demanding. Inflexible, and unyielding in their way of doing things. The DIRECTOR is an obnoxious control-freak. They want things done their way and do not tolerate well anyone who chooses not to do it their way. The DIRECTOR will constantly be angry with you for the most insignificant of things. They will tell you what utensil to use when you are frying chicken. They will control the thermostat, the budget, the car maintenance schedule. The Director decides when you go to bed, what television shows you watch, and where you will go on your vacation. The Director tells you what to wear and whom you may associate with. They are the only one that knows how to do anything 'right' and they will never delegate responsibility comfortably to any other living being. The Director obsesses with details and tends to be overly picky. They have every aspect of your relationship on an agenda, including retirement, child-raising, and residential locations. They have even scheduled your lovemaking. You are often taken back by their rude direct insults to your dress style, housecleaning, job performance, or choice of friends. The director demands from their children, much as a captain of a ship to his crew. Spending your life with The DIRECTOR would be like relinquishing your soul to them. There will be no negotiation in this type of relationship. It will always be their way or the highway. They will try to control every aspect of your life, leaving you with no self-respect, feelings of personal accomplishment, independence, or peace of mind.
The ILLUSIONIST. What you see is not what you get. The ILLUSIONIST is a backstabber. They are deceitful. Conniving. Revengeful. The Illusionist is prone to a passive-aggressive type of personality that will most likely make you want to scream. Just when you think they are smiling and supportive, you find out they are really resentful and angry. The Illusionist tends to be vindictive, and you often feel as though you've been betrayed. You find that you can't ever feel comfortable or trust this person. You feel like they could and would walk all over you if it meant they were attaining their own goals. If you spend your life with this person you most likely will be constantly watching your back. There is an old saying that goes "sleep with your eyes open". Living with the The ILLUSIONIST will base importance on that saying. You will never be able to relax and feel safe or comfortable with this person.
The SNUB. They are impersonal. Indifferent. Excluding.Withdrawn and secretive. Often gives you the cold-shoulder or silent treatment. Shows an apparent lack of emotion. Unresponsive. Rejecting. The SNUB shows little personal interest in your life. You feel as though they are pushing you away or trying to brush you off. The Snub tends to be cliquish. You often feel rejected, and held at arms-length. They tend to withdraw from you and you find you cannot depend on them for anything. They are unresponsive to your needs and wants. Living with this person means living a lonely existence, where you are consistently on the begging end of the relationship. You need and crave love, acceptance, and attention and The SNUB will not be able to deliver those vital needs to you. You will always be wondering what you did wrong and never truly will you feel like you belong or fit in this person's life.
The CONTENDER. Competitive and overly ambitious. Assertive. Envious. Relentless in their pursuit of a goal. Workaholic. An individualist who considers themself apart from all others. Always trying to one-up on others. Grandstanding and boastful. Strategically plans their life as if it were one great big chess game. Tries to win through intimidation. Poor loser. You consistently feel that you have to impress The CONTENDER. They never celebrate your successes but yet you must repeatedly listen to their constant barrages of every achievement they have ever made. They keep score of who has done what in your relationship. Being in a relationship with The CONTENDER is like running a marathon. You will never win an argument. You will never achieve the same level as 'their greatness'. They will wear you out and intimidate you. You eventually will lose your own identity, and subconsciously succumb to their constant demand for acknowledgement of their performances and accomplishments. If you write a short story they will one-up you by writing a novel. You will most likely feel empty after sex with this person, as they inevitably will make sex into an olympic accomplishment of their stamina and expertise, and less an act of love and sharing. You will forever spend your life in intimidation, forcing praises of their accomplishments. Life with this person will be lonely and exhausting, living in the frigid cold of their shadow.
The OLYMPIC GAMER is much like The CONTENDER. They are a tireless workhorse. Driven. Smug in their expertise of certain matters. Never satisfied, always striving for more. Impatient and demanding. Over reacts to their own failures or shortcomings. Restless and agitated. Intimidating. As with The CONTENDER, The OLYMPIC GAMER will wear you out. They will bring their job home from work and you will feel as though you have disappeared into the background. They will ignore you and throw themself into activities, work, or outside hobbies with a vengeance. The OLYMPIC GAMER never seems to be able to relax and you constantly feel uncomfortable, as though you need to entertain them, amuse them, or keep their activity level at a high. You feel like they look down their nose at you for not being as driven. Living your life with this person will be like living in a continuous roller coaster of upheaval and commotion. You will never feel like you can relax. You will feel unimportant and left-out. In the end you will feel defeated and exhausted from trying to please The OLYMPIC GAMER.
The JERK. Sly. Vain. Overly flirtatious. Always needs to be in the spotlight. Zeroes in on your vulnerability. Power hungry. Opportunistic. Flattering. Over conscious of their clothing attire and image. Flashy. No doubt if you have lived with The JERK you have caught them in the act of lustful leering. They may or may not have confessed to numerous affairs but you can never really quite feel like they are, or have been, monogamous. When out together with this person you subconsciously scan the room for other members of the opposite sex so you can immediately sum up your competition and know who to watch for. They call every member of the opposite sex that they have ever met by their first name. Even if it was only briefly at the Quickie Mart. You sometimes feel embarrassed or offended by their inappropriate remarks of you or others. Living with this person would be like falling asleep on the edge of a cliff. You will never feel safe, comfortable, or good enough. You will feel like you have to constantly measure up, and their need for attention and affirmation will be exhausting. That nagging feeling that they might leave you for another will drain your smile and leave you feeling unloved, unattractive, and insecure. You will never feel quite good enough, as this person will suck the life out of you in their constant search for approval and attention.
The SILLY PUTTY. Superagreeable. Undependable. Overly attached. Compliant. Insecure. Self-blaming. Zeroing in on innocent criticism. Plastic and superficial. Phony. They are like a chameleon that will often change to suit their surroundings. Chances are if you are living with The SILLY PUTTY you sometimes wonder if they have a mind of their own. You feel like you have become this he-is-she unified creature. You find you have to constantly reassure them of your love . You carefully select your words before you speak because they are overly sensitive, taking things way to personally, and they get 'hurt feelings' easily. They are just too damn agreeable and it makes you want to scream. Just once you want an assertive PERSON in bed that is wild with desire for you. Living your life with The SILLY PUTTY would be like living your life in love with yourself. This person has no identity or mind of their own. They have no character. They laugh if you think it's funny. They dislike broccoli because you dislike it. They never make decisions. They'll promise you anything because they are super agreeable, let they never deliver. You cannot rely on them for anything. You will begin to feel suffocated. You will never be able to sit back in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride, because you will always do the driving. Basically this person is silly putty, absorbing the image of all those they come in contact with.
The GREEN-EYED OGRE. Unsupportive and hurtful. Always angry. Overly competitive. Greedy. Insecure. Low self-esteem. Jealous. Insulting. The GREEN-EYED OGRE constantly compares themself to others. You will find them demeaning , unsupportive, or belittling of your accomplishments. In time you will learn to hide your accomplishments. They find fault in your job, your successes, your accomplishments, your dress style, etc. They tend to be overly boastful of their accomplishments, and they never let you forget them. The GREEN-EYED OGRE is insecure and non-trusting. They accuse you having affairs outside of the relationship and can dwell on this possibility for endless hours. If you are five-minutes late they demand to know where you were. The GREEN-EYED OGRE insults and cuts down your friends, family, and coworkers. Living with this person will be like walking on eggshells. The GREEN-EYED OGRE can be intimidating and scary. The GREEN-EYED OGRE can often turn physically abusive because they feel the need to 'put you back in your place', which, of course, is beneath them.
The BANG. Emotionally unstable. Questioning of others motives, cynical. Overly critical. Untrusting. Rude, sometimes making callous comments to others that you find embarrassing. Revengeful. Plotting. Selfish. If you do The BANG wrong, even unintentionally, you can most assuredly expect them to 'get back at you'. You are afraid of this person's temper and it doesn't take much to make them explode and send them into a rampage. You find The BANG has very little empathy for others, and often thinks that people are out to get them. They often have a short fuse and the slightest of setbacks can make this person dangerously explosive. The BANG tends to not trust you and is often suspicious of your actions. They question where you were and who you were with. You have caught them going through your drawers, your purse, your wallet, your pockets, your personal journal. Living with this person would be a life of non-stop tension. You will never be able to relax and will subconsciously find yourself sugar-coating everything you say less you set them off. You will find yourself purposely hiding things from them because you just know "they wouldn't understand". You will be scared to go out with your friends after work, or defy their demands.
The DOWNER. Clingy. Needy. Suffocating. Scared. Guilt-inducing. Consumed by themselves and their own needs. Stifling. Crisis-orientated. The DOWNER can drag you down. You sometimes feel like they are attached to you at the hip and you start to feel suffocated. You feel like they are sponging the life right out from you. Your relationship with The DOWNER never seems to be heading anywhere. You feel guilty when you say no to The DOWNER. Living with The DOWNER will be liking surrendering your total existence to keeping their head above water. They will always have a crisis. They will never notice you or your life as they are so totally absorbed in their own problems. The DOWNER can't be left alone for one minute, and the minute you walk in the door their helplessness will consume your every nerve. They will drain you, slowly, inch by inch, until you feel you have nothing left to give, then The DOWNER will work on your sense of guilt making you feel like the lowest creature-form on this planet for abandoning them in their hour of need. Every hour is an hour of need to them. They feel they have one constant crisis after another and they may cling to you. If you are looking for a knight in shining armour you better look the other way, you'll never find it in The DOWNER.
Most of us will find some similarities either with our own selves, or our exes, and some of the characters listed above. Some of our exes may have only a few of those traits, but I bet that the majority of us can pick out one, or two, particular characters above that sums up our exes to a tee. (Mine was The PULVERIZER.) I hope that if you found yourself decribed in any of the above that you will seek ways to improve upon yourself. (Please see tips/links for emotional health and self-help at Verve! Online)
By going over the above list, and being able to recognize the worst traits and characteristics in your ex, you will be able to see exactly where you were heading in your relationship. Friend, you deserve better than that!
Continue on to How We Heal.
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