The blog post below an excerpt from my new Q&A scenario book, “Was it Something I Said?”
Dear Jess, I ruined my chances with a great guy! We dated for three
months, and I did everything wrong. I told him I loved him in the first few weeks, slept with him way too soon, and basically acted too needy throughout the entire relationship. When he broke up with me, he told me he just wasn’t ready to commit, but I know it’s because of all the mistakes I made. I know what I need to do better now, but I need him to give me a chance to prove it. Is there any way to talk him into taking me back?
As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and in your situation this man has already dated you, learned who you are, and decided that you are not compatible. Changing his mind about you now is not going to be easy. However, if you feel strongly about him and want to try, I do have some advice on how to best go about it.
1. Stop all contact.
I know this seems completely opposite from what you are try-ing to accomplish, but, for now, it’s what needs to be done. The “needy, noncompatible you” is still fresh in this man’s head. Any time you reach out to him in an attempt to show him you’re different now won’t do any good. Three months of bad behavior cannot be erased with one pleasant phone call or dinner date. Reconciliation will take time. Get comfortable, because it isn’t going to happen by the weekend. A safe amount of time to wait would be half as long as the duration of your relationship. For example, if you dated for three months, you should not contact him for a month and a half.
Much like the song “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away,” your ex can’t miss you, or forget the way you were, if he continues to see you at the gym or bumps into you at the coffee shop in his office lobby. You must put time and distance between you. This means not only cutting contact directly (no texts, e-mails, phone calls), but also indirectly via Facebook, Twitter, or the occasional random run-in. He needs to wonder where you went, and he can- not do that if your status keeps popping up in his news feed.
Once you have let the recommended amount of time go by, you can then resurface. However, you should not contact your ex directly if possible. It would be better to casually connect again by running into each other randomly on purpose. The reason is that direct contact implies that you are not over the relationship and you are still attempting to make amends. And although that is the truth, your ex may be on guard if he feels that is the case. You want him to forget the past and see you in a whole new light. The reason he liked you in the first place was because