We were on a [relationship] break!!” If this immediately makes you think of the 1990’s sitcom, Friends, you aren’t alone, nor are you alone if your relationship is currently on a break.

Whether you suggested the break or he did, you now find yourself in the uncomfortable position of wanting him back but not knowing how to get him back.

What’s a girl to do?

You sure as heck don’t sit around pining over what you did wrong!

Instead, you get to work on you. Here are seven things to do when you’re on a relationship break to get him back!


It might not seem to be the right first step, but it is. It’s the old adage, how can you expect others to care for you if you don’t care for yourself? Along with that, it’s in the nature of many females to care for others above themselves. This seems selfless, but really, it’s a bad move.

If you don’t take care of yourself, and by taking care of yourself I mean mind, body and soul, you can’t be present for those who are most important to you. When you’re run down or feeling down, you aren’t showing up 100% for the people you love.

We often think of self-care as a mani-pedi or a facial, but there are six areas in which you can practice self-care: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, and sensory. Who knew?

I encourage you to check out this great self-care book, The Little Self-Care Handbook. It walks you through each type of self-care and helps you implement a regular self-care practice into your own life.

on a relationship break

When You’re on a Relationship Break, Redefine Your Identity

For some time now, you’ve thought of yourself as one-half of a couple. People don’t refer to you as you, but as you guys. A pair. A team. A unit to be invited to everything together.

This isn’t your identity right now. You’re single. I know, you’re on a break and all, but your relationship is broken up for a reason – something was broken. If you and your ex get back together, you will start a new relationship, not continue the old one.

And why would you want to if it was broken?

So it’s time to start acting like a single girl again. Plan a girls’ weekend somewhere or show up at girls’ night again. If you don’t have single girlfriends, join some local groups and find new friends who share your interests.

New friends help you step outside your comfort zone, and this causes personal growth. You build confidence and have fun doing it. Win-win!

Your ex is watching, whether it’s through social media or friends, and his expectations of what you’re doing don’t include hanging out with friends, going whitewater rafting or hiking in the mountains. You’re becoming mysterious and challenging to him and this is always a good thing!

Take it to the Next Level

It’s great to practice self-care, maybe add in a few workouts throughout the week and hang out with new or old friends, but what if you take it a step further?

Your ex has labeled you as some type of person, based on what he’s observed. Maybe you’re overly cautious and reserved, a little introverted even. Just going to girls’ night might be a step beyond your comfort zone.

But take it a step further. If you’ve always worn your hair long, get it cut into a bob or change the color. Add curl or straighten it. Put in highlights or dye it pink. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s a change beyond your comfort zone. It’s only hair – it will grow out if you hate it, but the big bonus is that he’s now going what the heck??? Followed by what will she do next, which is said with a shake of the head and a smile.

Go somewhere new for coffee. Dress in a style that you really like, versus what’s expected of you. If you long to wear tie dye skirts and Birkenstocks, go for it. Confident women don’t care what other people think, they live their life to suit their own style.

What you’re doing is breaking his label of you and again injecting mystery and challenge. He’s not only wondering who you are and what you’ll do next but who you’re making these changes for. He assumes it’s another guy, little does he know you’re doing it all for you.

on a relationship break

While You’re on a Relationship Break, Date Other Men

You are broken up so this is not cheating. I’m not saying that the day after you establish the breakup you go out and date other men, but I am saying that as you feel more confident, it’s time to date other men again.

Take some time immediately after the breakup to rebuild your confidence, regain control of your emotions and assess what happened in the relationship to land you where you are today. After that, it’s time to date.

I know what you’re thinking, “But Gregg, when he sees me dating other guys, he’ll start dating other women.” First of all, he probably already has dated other women, so you need to catch up. He thinks he can go off and be single for a while, be on a relationship break, and then when he’s ready to come back, you’ll be there waiting for him.

By dating other men, you’re not only saying that you’re not waiting for him to get his act together, you’re also saying that if he can date other women, you can date other men. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose!

I know you think this will drive him away, but it won’t if he still cares for you.

Pack Up His Things

You’re broken up so there’s no need for you to have photos of the two of you lying around. Nor is it good to have his drawer of stuff, toothbrush, and shaving kit. These are reminders you don’t need. Pack them up and tape that box closed. Put it in the garage, basement or a far back corner of your closet.

If he comes back, he can unpack it himself. If he doesn’t, you can deliver it to him. These reminders of your relationship only hold you back and keep you stuck in the past.

Whether you have a future with him or not doesn’t matter. What matters is moving yourself forward instead of remaining stuck mourning the past.

And don’t sneak out one t-shirt that you keep under your pillow either. That’s cheating and you’re no cheater!

This is about healing and overcoming the negativity of the relationship. You both need to do that in order to move forward, together or apart.

While You’re on a Relationship Break, Keep Contact to a Minimum

The full don’t contact him for anything rule isn’t usually realistic, especially if you have children together, own property together, work together or share a pet. In those instances, you need to communicate.

The trick is to keep your communication in those instances to those topics and don’t wander off topic. If the relationship comes up, tell him you’ll discuss it at another time, especially if it’s soon after the break.

When you do have a reason to contact him, be kind and pleasant. There’s no need to be ugly or rude. Stay on topic and exit the conversation. If you need to fake being happy, do it.

As you step back out into the world, he’ll be curious and will ask questions. Keep your answers vague and leave him wondering. Too much information will only harm your effort to get him back.

Share Your New Life on Social Media

You probably give him too much credit for being a complex thinker. When it comes to relationships, men are not complex thinkers so make it easy for him.

Share your new life on social media. If he still loves you, he’s watching. Don’t post about dates, but show off that new haircut or mention your trip to the gym. Let him see you out having fun with friends or having a new adventure.

These things intrigue him and again cause him to wonder who you’re making all these changes for. His simple mind can’t imagine you’re doing this all for you, he thinks there’s another guy in your life. Don’t worry, though, because men love competition.

What Do You Do When You’re on a Relationship Break

While you might code a breakup as being on a relationship break, the truth is that you broke up. This means your old relationship was broken. Something wasn’t working for one or both of you. If he broke it off, he’s harboring negative feelings about you and the relationship for a few weeks after.

The more you contact him during this time, the more his negative feelings grow. Yes, I said grow. That’s why that no contact thing above is so important! Let him overcome those negative feelings while you work out your own stuff, which may also include negative feelings.

Get your emotions back in your control, practice self-care and get back out there. Hang out with your friends and make new friends. Go on some adventures and share it all on social media.

All these things help you restore your confidence while also making you mysterious and challenging to all men, not just your ex. Date other guys. This provides you with options and helps you see that even if he doesn’t come back, there are other men who are interested in you. Your ex isn’t the only one after all!

Without a doubt, your ex will reach out. It may be weeks, months or even a year before that happens so you can’t sit around waiting. The longer he waits, the greater his risk of losing you, and he knows it, so you start living your life and see what happens. If he pops back into your life and you’re not with someone who interests you more, have a conversation to see if you still click.

Just remember, any relationship you get into with your ex from now forward is a new relationship, not an extension of the old one. Take time to get to know one another again. You’ve changed and maybe he has too. Don’t immediately fall back into living together or sleeping together. Rebuild this new relationship into something far better than your last relationship.

Most importantly, when you enter a new relationship with either your ex or a new guy, be sure to maintain your friendships, continue hanging out with your girlfriends and exploring new and exciting ways to grow and change. That’s all for you, not for a guy, but the added bonus is that it keeps him guessing!

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