When Karolina and I made big life-changing decisions (Like transitioning from our old jobs to working on our blog full-time) we also had a more intense phase of fighting, which gradually died out as our lives stabilized again.
And that is what your own fighting pattern might sometimes look like too.
You have a few months of peaceful harmony, followed by a week or two of fighting more often.
And depending on how big the issue is that you’re working through, a relationship fight can last from an hour, to as long as a few days!
But the best way to know how often you should be fighting with your partner, is to think of it in terms of ratio instead of time.
(Because it’s not always the same, some months you’ll fight less and others more)
This means that it’s not about the hours or days you spend fighting, but how much of your overall time is spent fighting, vs. how often you’re enjoying each other’s company:
An average healthy amount of fighting in a relationship is anything up to 25% of your time together.
So that the remaining 75% is then about all the good stuff, like going on dates, connecting, having fun, even taking on life together with shared responsibilities!
…Now, some of you might be thinking:
If the amount of fighting is far above 25%, should you quit a relationship?
And the answer is not necessarily.
You don’t need to end a relationship if you’re fighting a lot.
Because issues can be worked out, and you can learn to talk to your partner in ways that don’t keep things calm.
Little efforts towards skills like these will already help couples reduce how frequently they fight.
2. Identify the Root Cause
When couples fight, they often get stuck in shallow arguments and never identify the root cause (The underlying problem that is actually creating the argument!)
It might often start with you feeling upset about something and you try to express it.
Your partner takes it personally and gets upset about what you expressed.
Which in turn upsets you, because you don’t feel understood and he’s gone and made it about himself again!
And on and on it goes…
Things gradually escalate until emotions are running so high, that you’re either screaming at each other or silently brooding.
And even though an hour or more might have passed, there’s still NO RESOLUTION!
Everybody is just frustrated, angry and hurt.
This is because the attention was on the surface problems. (and often trying to ‘win’ the fight or ‘be right’)
But if you can redirect your focus on identifying the root cause which is driving the argument, you can stop fighting much sooner and actually solve it!
For example, once when we were travelling, Karolina asked if she could take a nap while I drove. I said of course, but while she was asleep, I missed our exit on the highway, which caused a whopping 1-hour detour.
We fought about it and got nowhere, until we started focusing on identifying the root cause.
And it turned out that it was actually about Karolina feeling like she couldn’t relax and trust anyone but herself with responsibility.
She felt alone with it and was afraid that she always had to stay alert and couldn’t trust others.
Root cause: Her need for feeling safe was not met.
3. Address the Root Cause
Once this was clear, we could focus on and address her unmet need instead of endlessly blaming and arguing with each other.
We could finally SOLVE the fight.
Phew, what a relief!
So we had a long discussion about Karolina’s unmet need and found ways to help her feel more safe.
She was happy, I was happy and we could get back to enjoying our trip.
In conclusion, if you take this kind of approach, you won’t fight as often.
You’ll also save yourself the pain and won’t have to walk away from an argument feeling hurt or defeated.
Honestly, these arguments were such a pain for us, they actually lead to multiple breakups. But once we understood the underlying mechanism driving our fights, things started to work for us.
Breakups almost never feel like a definite end of a relationship.
When you’re together with someone, you inevitably become attached and develop a connection and that’s something that can’t just vanish from one moment onto the next.
If your boyfriend recently broke up with you, or you were the one to break up but regret it, know that this feeling you likely have: that things are not over yet, is right!
It takes months if not years to truly let go and move on. And through all that time a window of opportunity for reconciliation and fixing things often remains open.
My boyfriend and co-author of this blog broke up with me three times in the first years of our relationship. After every one of these breakups we ended up getting back together in about a month. And I know from all of you guys just how common these kinds of situations are!
Couples break up but things don’t end there. They keep on texting, seeing each other and either things fizzle out slowly or they end up getting back together.
That’s why I’ve compiled a list of signs to help you know if your ex secretly wants you back and is waiting for you to make the next move.
1. He Left His Things at Your Place and Isn’t in a Hurry to Pick Them Up
When a guy breaks up, women generally expect that he really means it. That’s why they are then often baffled when he then leaves many of his things at their place for weeks or even months after the breakup.
Sometimes this can even include really important personal items like documents, spare keys etc. But it can also be smaller, less important stuff like clothes or electric toothbrushes…
So if you still have your ex’s stuff lying around at your place know it’s not because he just forgot about it.
He is leaving it there on purpose because it gives him a sense of ‘emotional security’ to have things still connecting you two, as though you were still together in some way.
It’s a definite sign that he isn’t over you yet and is waiting for you to see where you really stand and what you’ll do.
2. He Still Has Your Things at His Place and Isn’t Trying to Give Them Back
Much like in the case of him leaving his stuff at your place, him keeping your things isn’t accidental.
It’s not that he just forgot about them or just doesn’t care to arrange to give them all back.
To him, keeping your stuff is even more of a ‘security’! Not only does it give him the feeling of having a connection with you, but it’s also a guarantee that he’ll get to see you at least once again.
Him holding onto your stuff is a sure sign that he is waiting for you and secretly wants you back but wont straight up admit it!
3. He Keeps on Texting or Calling You as Though You Were Still Together
This is another classic behaviour so many of you have told me about: a guy breaks up with you but then continues acting as though you were still together.
This might mean regular texting and phone calls or even arranging to see you or go on dates with you.
This was actually the case with Gabriel and me too! The third time he broke up with me on a Sunday and then on Monday afternoon I received a text from him saying: “Wanna meet up for a coffee?”
But when you text your ex and he replies within the same minute, it’s a sure sign your ex has been thinking of you, missing you and waiting for you to reach out to him.
Also he is clearly really eager to keep the conversation going.
5. He Keeps You Updated on What’s New in His Life
Being together with someone means having a person to share all the important moments in life with. All the small and big victories as well as defeats.
Most people who break up don’t actually understand the consequences of it when they are doing it.
They’re blind to abandonment and rejection they themselves are inflicting and then act accordingly.
So, if your ex keeps on updating you on everything that’s happening in his life, even though he might be the dumper, in these moments he wants you back.
It’s a sign he still needs you and because of it is likely waiting for you to make a move and get him back.
6. He Isn’t Dating Anyone New
One of the most baffling and infuriating moments in my life happened two weeks after Gabriel and I broke up for the first time…
His reasons for wanting to break up back then was because he wasn’t ready to settle down and wanted to experience love and life.
I was obviously heartbroken but accepted where he was at and went on a two week sailing holiday.
I came back dreading that he will already be with some other girl…
But to my surprise, he did not see anyone while I was away, he said he was taking a break from dating for the time being.
If a guy broke up with you supposedly because he fell out of love or didn’t care about you as much as you cared about him but he isn’t trying to move on and date anybody new, it’s a sign that he is likely still hung up on you.
He is likely battling some attachment/commitment issues and is waiting for you to help him break out of them.
7. He Texts or Calls Late at Night
People often judge drunk calls or booty calls but the thing is, alcohol lowers our inhibitions. When we’re drunk we often go after things we want but wouldn’t have the courage to try when we’re sober.
The same is true about being lonely and horny late at night…
If your ex drunk texts you or gives you a booty call, know it’s a sign he is missing you at that very moment.
It’s an indicator that at least part of him is still waiting for you and secretly wanting you back.
8. He Tells You He Misses You
Have you ever had your ex say to you: “I miss you” and felt like he can’t possibly mean it, because if he did he wouldn’t have broken up with you in the first place?
The thing about breakups is that they never really are straightforward.
More often than not, the dumper is only doing it as a last resort to communicate that something really isn’t working for him in the relationship.
They’re not actually wanting to break up.
They want you to get them and possibly stop doing something that’s really hurting them.
Unfortunately, his rejection hurts A LOT too.
So much so, that when an ex who dumped you says that he misses you, you might just discard it as though it meant nothing.
However, him saying something like this to you is pretty much straightforward admitting that: he is waiting for you and wanting to fix things so that you two can get back together.
9. He Talks to Others About You
Couples who have been together for many years can sometimes have trouble communicating without fighting. When a relationship reaches this stage, breaking-up often seems like the only option to escape the cycle of endless hurtful fights.
However, it doesn’t help with resolving anything.
People are desperate to find solutions to things that hurt them and can find creative ways of doing so. Some of our coaching clients have utilised this hack: communicating through friends.
Even though it’s not the most effective way of communication, it’s better than nothing.
So if your mutual friends have been telling you that your ex has been talking or complaining to them about you, know that this isn’t accidental. He meant for you to get this message!
Chances are this is the only way he can currently try to reach out to you. He might be so hurt and bitter that he simply can’t do it directly.
Even though this might be infuriating (because he seemingly could just tell you these things himself) it’s a sign that he is thinking about you and waiting for you to do something to fix things.
How to Get Him to Openly Want You Back
It’s all well and good to read the signs that he is waiting for you and to know that he secretly wants you back but that’s just the first part of getting out of this tricky situation.
Reversing a breakup can take anything from one simple text in some cases to weeks or even months of long conversations and rebuilding trust.
There is nothing worse than a man suddenly pulling away from you, right after getting close.
It is the most confusing and illogical thing one can do…
This constant game of my partner getting close, pulling away, getting close again, pulling away again is something that I struggled with in my relationship A LOT.
My boyfriend Gabriel used to act in the sweetest of ways. He’d text me first thing in the morning, arrange for us to meet, planned dates, be appreciative and caring.
Only to suddenly start declining all my suggestions to meet up and I wouldn’t hear from him for days on end.
Or worse, he’d say things like “I don’t know where this relationship is going” or “I’m not sure I believe in life long commitment…”.
Whenever he pulled away from me I’d feel hurt and rejected.
What’s worse, his behaviour made me doubt myself. I started wondering: “Is this my fault? Have I done something wrong?”
Years later I finally managed to drag out the truth from him. Now I know exactly why he acted the way he did and what he was actually wanting me to do about it!
In this blogpost I will share with you all I’ve learned about this common problem nearly all women face.
I’ll go into details on why men pull away, how to deal with it and what to do to get them to stop doing it.
Biggest Reasons Why Guys Suddenly Pull Away After Getting Close
Everybody’s situation is different and unique. There are many factors that can contribute to this and trigger men to pull away from women they care about.
Sometimes their need for sudden distance can arise after a relationship fight.
It can also get set off by external factors such as family or job issues.
And in other cases it might happen seemingly for no reason at all…
Even though the exact circumstances vary from person to person, there are actually some very clear patterns in this puzzling behavior of men.
These are the three biggest underlying reasons that cause guys to pull away after getting close to you:
1. Men Pull Away Because They’re Afraid Of Being Hurt
When two people start going out with each other, they often don’t have full understanding or control over the way the relationship can develop and progress over time.
In our early stages Gabriel and I would have deep meaningful conversations and have so much fun together, it would instantly make us both feel closer and deeply connected to one another.
We didn’t plan for any of these things to happen. They just did, out of the blue…
Even though these kinds of experiences can feel SO GOOD in the moment. You’re suddenly feeling close, happy, in love…
…they can also feel extremely SCARY, especially in retrospect.
Unfortunately, letting someone in on a deeper level means that they can potentially hurt you on a deeper level too.
That’s why guys sometimes pull away from you when they start to really like you or when they’re falling in love with you.
They suddenly realize just how vulnerable they’re becoming and get TERRIFIED of the potential consequences.
So they quickly distance themselves from you to slow things down and minimize any potential damage.
2. Men Pull Away to Get You to Keep On Chasing Them
There is nothing more frustrating than wanting something you cannot have.
Yet at the same time, the fact that you can’t have that one particular thing or person, tends to make it/them so much more DESIRABLE.
The push and pull dynamic is the basis of any romantic movie or series.
Take Gossip Girl for example:
In season one Blair is initially rejecting Chuck. She eventually changes her mind, but by then he is the one rejecting her.
When he finally decides to commit, she changes her mind again and so on and so forth they go for 6 seasons…
Much like in this scene Blair wanted Chuck to fight for her and win her back, the same way when a guy suddenly pulls away from you, he wants you to chase after him.
It’s a power move.
It gives him the feeling he is the one controlling the situation. In his head pulling away from you is a way of ensuring that you’ll stay hooked and remain crazy about him.
3. Men Pull Away to Sabotage the Relationship
When things start going the right way in your life and you’re finally getting something you’ve been wanting for a long time, do you ever feel like ‘it’s just too good to be true’ and then proceed to sabotage it?
I know, this kind of behavior doesn’t make much sense. Yet it’s extremely common.
I did it. Gabriel did it. And you guys have also shared your own stories of sabotage.
Even though Gossip Girl might not be the best place to get healthy relationship advice from, it just so happens that this urge to reject good things in life is a phenomenon that was very well illustrated in the Chuck and Blair dynamic too.
There were countless times when either of them pulled away from the other just for the sake of sabotaging their relationship.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t just happen in TV dramas.
Being on the receiving end of this kind of behavior can be very confusing and hurtful. It’s also something that is actually extremely common.
So, if your man starts suddenly pulling away from you when things are going well or starting to get serious, chances are he is battling some inner demons that are urging him to sabotage the special bond that you guys share.
Is It Normal For Guys to Pull Away?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for guys to pull away from women they care about. All men do it to a greater or lesser degree.
Even in the early stages of a relationship.
Men pull away and come back because they’re testing you and getting to know you.
They’re checking how you’ll react. Whether or not you’ll freak out about it. They want to see how invested you are and if you care about them as much as they care about you.
So now it’s finally time to get to the bottom of all this, ‘you ready?
Alright, let’s do this.
A love-hate relationship is caused by the emotional baggage BOTH of you bring to your relationship.
…I know we’d all like to think we had a perfectly happy childhood.
But the fact of the matter is, the topic of mental health is on the rise as the stigma fades.
You’ve likely heard about many public figures coming forward and talking about their personal and relationship struggles and how much they attribute it, to the emotional baggage from their upbringing. (Like Paris Hilton in her documentary ‘This is Paris‘)
It’s becoming clear that this is a rather wide-spread issue that affects people from all walks of life.
And I can say the same for myself and EVERYBODY I’ve known:
None of us have gone through life unscarred.
Over the course of my relationship, my emotional baggage caused me to do and say things that hurt Karolina and she me.
When these kinds of hurtful experiences go on unaddressed for a period of time, they tend to turn into resentment.
And when resentment continues to pile up, it turns into hate.
Hate is is something that evolves from being hurt over and over again.
How to Reduce Hate in a Love-Hate Relationship
In order to have less hate and more love in your relationship, you need to start talking about your emotional baggage and also address some of the hurtful things that you’ve done to each other.
It’s RARELY easy to bring up unpleasant events from the past.
But if you’re serious about making it work with him in a long run, these issues will need addressing sooner or later.
Supporting each other while working through our own emotional baggage is what allowed Karolina and myself to significantly reduce the hate in our relationship and make room for WAY MORE love. 💗
In it we cover our journey, through our love-hate challenges, and how you too, can overcome your own.
We explain where these hateful feelings come from and give you the mindset and exact steps you need to defuse the hate and finally turn your relationship into the loving, connected and stable one you deserve.
Breakups are always tough. But going through a breakup that feels like a bad mistake is one of the worst feelings in the world.
I would know.
Me and my other half (and also the co-author of this blog – Gabriel) broke up THREE times. Each one of those three breakups was absolutely devastating to me.
The idea of separating from a person I cared about so deeply felt straight-up wrong.
From the very moment we broke up, I wanted to get him back already.
And I managed to do it, three times.
It’s now been over 7 years since our last breakup and we’ve been happily together ever since.
Our breakups were a mistake I managed to fix.
There is a lot of stigma around getting back together with an ex. Your friends might frown at you, family members might judge you for it.
But the reality of the matter is: approximately 50% of couples who break up, get back together again.
In this article, I will share with you the strategies I used to make my ex want me back so that you too can get him to miss you and chase you again.
1. Heal Your Ego So That You Feel More Attractive Again
Even though breakups can be ‘mutual’ they’re generally initiated by one person only.
Being on the receiving end of this kind of rejection inevitably takes a toll on one’s self-esteem.
When Gabriel and I broke up, it was he who initiated it and because of this, it immediately made me doubt myself. I started wondering about things like:
‘Was it my fault?!’
‘Am I not good enough?!’
‘Did I do something wrong?’
The biggest problem with these kinds of thoughts is that they are a HUGE BARRIER that will actually stand in the way of you getting your ex to want to come back to you.
They will make you doubt your own value and act in ways that can undermine your success.
That’s why it’s really important, that before jumping straight into getting your ex back, you let your wounded ego heal a bit first.
There are many ways to go about this.
The first time Gabriel and I broke up, I just partied for a week straight (I was still at university back then…). The second time I went on a relaxing vacation. The third time I decided to join an NGO and helped planning a primary school in a developing country.
The point of this step is to take your mind off those self-defeating thoughts so that you can feel good in your own skin again.
All the experiences I described above is what allowed me to relax and feel better about myself. This in turn made me more attractive to my ex-boyfriend.
It was the first and necessary step of how I got him back.
I get that the situation you’re in might feel extremely urgent. You likely want to get your ex back as fast as you can.
But you can’t skip this step.
You need to take some time to recover from the breakup and rebuild your self-esteem to get him to want you again.
Once you feel more like your old self, you can then proceed to step two:
2. Get a Grip On Your Desperation
Breakups can completely change the power dynamic between a couple.
The person who initiated the breakup tends to suddenly gain a lot more control over the situation.
While the other side is often left feeling like they’ve just completely lost a handle on things.
Losing all sense of control over a relationship tends to make people act DESPERATE.
When Gabriel broke up with me I was as desperate as it gets.
Desperate to get back together…
Desperate to feel like he loves me again…
Desperate to put it all behind us and pretend like it never happened…
Back then I had this really strong urge to just let go, allow all my desperation to roam free, and dictate all my actions.
Luckily, I didn’t let that happen…
The biggest problem with acting desperate is that it will make your ex feel like he has got full control over you.
Gabriel was also the kind of guy to really play down his feelings and attachment towards me.
He pretended that the breakups didn’t affect him much.
And that he didn’t care whether we were together or not.
But you know what, it was just an ACT that was supposed to keep me hooked and make me endlessly chase after him.
This is something he actually now (not proudly) confirms.
So even if your ex is acting all cold and distant, don’t get fooled by that.
It’s kind of like a power move that is supposed to ensure that he can stay in control of you and the relationship.
Everybody gets attached.
People can’t just stop caring about someone from one day onto the next. It’s impossible…
So if your ex wanted you back then, he most likely still wants you now.
Fully realizing this truth can be absolutely groundbreaking when it comes to getting him to come back.
You don’t need to make your ex want you again, he already does. All you have to do now is get him to admit it and want to follow that feeling again.
4. Get Him Hooked Again With Self-Respect and Boundaries
Now that you know deep down your ex still wants you, let’s talk about what you can do to make his feelings for you stronger again.
The first time Gabriel and I broke up, we went for a coffee a few weeks after our breakup.
We were sitting at a nice place, catching up, the conversation was good, I was totally flirting with him a little and we both inevitably started feeling closer again.
When it was time to say goodbye, Gabriel leaned in to kiss me, as though we were still dating…
But rather than reciprocating, I moved away.
I told him, ‘You can’t just break up with me and then try to kiss me a couple of weeks later!’. And I angrily walked away.
I missed him and all, but I wasn’t ok with more intimacy without him giving me more security first.
And guess what?
Me standing my ground caused our breakup to become more real to him, too!
Suddenly, the tables had turned, and that interaction is what got him texting me again.
Getting your ex back is a tricky process.
You’re trying to reconnect with him and reignite what’s been lost. But at the same time, you have to respect where you’re at and not let him override your boundaries whenever he has a sudden change of heart.
On one hand, you’re giving him what he wants, making him feel good, making him remember the good times you two had together…
…but you also have to make him feel that his decision to break up has consequences. That his ‘boyfriend privileges’ have been revoked for the time being.
It’s your own self-respect and boundaries that make him miss you and want to chase you again.
They’re your best compass when it comes to deciding what to do, what to say etc.
That’s what allowed me to get my ex back. Having that coffee date experience, made Gabriel come back fast. But it wasn’t the only thing I needed to do for us to be able to finally get back together.
This brings me to the last step of your journey…
5. Remove the Barriers to Get Him to Chase You Again
In reality, getting your ex to want you back is much simpler than we’re led to believe.
…. if this is really the case, then why doesn’t he just text you and try to get you back yourself?
That’s a very good question.
Fully understanding the answer to this one is going to play a major role in you successfully getting him to want you back.
You see, people always break up for a reason.
So even though your ex most likely wants you right now, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he wants to get back together with you. Whatever it was that made him want to break up in the first place is likely still acting as a barrier that prevents him from wanting to invest in a relationship with you at this very moment.
There were multiple reasons why Gabriel and I broke up those three times.
Some of them were purely his issues. Others, on the other hand, had to do with some things I’d say and do (or not do).
The secret in making him want you back has nothing to do with doing things to attract him again (because he feels attracted to you already!).
It’s all about removing the barriers that are preventing him from wanting to be together with you.
Fixing just one of those issues on my end that caused Gabriel to want to break up, was enough for us to, not only to get back together, but also to NEVER break up ever again!
If you’re interested in learning how to remove these kinds of barriers so that he wants you back, you might want to check out our online course, Rebuild your Relationship.
In it, we’ll teach you how you can influence your man so that he goes from being hesitant and distant to dying to please you and chasing you around for love and attention.
You’ll learn a foolproof step by step technique to get everything you ever wanted from him and more…
We always believed that relationships should be FUN and uplifting! And we were obsessed with finding real-world practical solutions for our relationship problems. Today we help others do the same with our blog.