As I’ve mentioned in the guide on how to get your ex back and my guide on winning your ex girlfriend back, there are some deadly mistakes that people make after a breakup. The reason why most people make these mistakes is because they panic and in their chaotic mind, begging, pleading and being needy seem like the most logical thing to do.

But there is more to this than that. In most cases, the reason people want to get back together is because in many ways, they are dependent on their ex. They are dependent on their ex for their security, for love, for their self-worth and for happiness. And when their ex decides to leave them, they see it as a threat to their happiness, to their security, to their self-worth and to their happiness.

It’s a natural reaction for the mind to panic when you see a threat to your security. And when your mind panics, it tries to do all it can to get your ex to stay. Based on your past experiences, your mind will try to use everything to try to get your ex to stay. Begging, manipulation, stalking, smothering them with affection, jealousy and sometimes even anger and abuse.

In most cases, people who want to win an ex back, were in a co-dependent relationship. This co-dependency makes them more vulnerable to making these mistakes. The co-dependent person in a relationship is usually the one who takes steps to fix the relationship and make it work. The co-dependent person finds a sense of control in doing the work to make the relationship work. And when a partner decides to leave, they feel they’ve lost control and they want to do anything to get them back.

Your Insecurity And Low Self-Esteem

Everyone has some insecurities and low self-esteem is more common than think. There is no shame in admitting you have insecurities or low self-esteem. The problem arises when you don’t acknowledge them and your insecurities and your low self-esteem determine your actions and your major life decisions.

If you’ve made any of the mistakes mentioned in this article, then they were probably a result of low self-esteem and insecurities. Being in a relationship is comforting and convenient. But for many people, it’s also a source of self-worth and security. If you are getting your self-worth and security from a relationship or from another person’s approval of you, then you are doing yourself injustice. And if that person leaves you, you will probably become miserable and do a lot of embarrassing things to get them back, which you probably did.

The Difference Between Love and Co-dependent relationship

codependent relationship

If you care about your relationship more than yourself, you are in a codependent relationship

There is a simple difference between love and being in a co-dependent relationship. If you are in a co-dependent relationship “you put your relationship before yourself”. By doing so, you are making something else more important than yourself, and thus creating the illusion that you must really love that person. Unless you really love them, you wouldn’t be putting them before yourself.

However, this is not really love as much as it is a mask for your inner insecurities and low self-esteem. If after a breakup, you act desperate, needy and stalky, then most probably you were putting your ex before yourself. And that means you were not doing all those things because you love your ex, but because you were miserable without them.

You have to understand the fine line between love and being miserable without something in your life. If I am addicted to crack, I will be miserable without it. But that doesn’t mean that I am in love with crack. I might actually hate crack and the fact that it’s making my life miserable. But still, I will be miserable immediately after I quit it. And when I do, I will have the illusion that I actually liked crack or maybe even loved it. Why else will I feel miserable without it?

It’s because the mind is in pain when you leave something you are addicted to (in this case your ex), and it wants to convince you that you should do everything you can to get it back.

Realizing There is Life Beyond this Misery

Fortunately, time heals everything. If I stay away from my addiction for some time, I will realize that I don’t need it and I can live my life without it. The same will happen when you stay away from your ex. When you realize you don’t need your ex to be happy, you will understand how futile and needless your attempts to get them back goes on

When you stay away from your ex, you slowly realize that your happiness and self-worth is not dependent on them. If you start making positive changes in your life without your ex, you start realizing that your life will be great and you will move on, no matter what. You will slowly start realizing that you don’t need your ex anymore. Maybe you still want them; maybe you still feel like you love them and it will be good if you get them back. But you don’t need them. And whatever happens, you will live a fulfilling life.

About Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson is a breakup expert and coach with more than 11 years of experience of helping people recover from a breakup and get back in a healthy relationship.

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26 comments ...add one
  • Tasha

    I love this article. It put so much in perspective and I feel better about myself already. Thank you!

  • Jasmine

    Hi there. I would need your help and some advice is enough.

    So during 29th aug. He came back from his taiwan trip (21-28th?) i dont rmb the exact dates. But when we meet on 30 & 31st aug, 31st august he told me he wants to break up with me. I wasnt sure of why he did but he said like he feel that he dont treat me good enough as he saw how his friends treated their girl. We both cried, he even broke down.. Ive never seen a guy cried for me like this. Then I pleaded and persuaded him, he agreed for a timeout of 2 months.. During this timeout, he said we can not talk like a couple and we cannot meet until 2 months. We still send some hearts tho.

    However, 2 weeks in... 12th sept.. He told me he doesnt love me anymore and wants to break up and have his alone time. I was so so sad and confused! But the next morning, I asked him to be honest with me, if he still loves me but he just need some alone time now, and he said “ thats exactly it” and he said he say he dont love me and those mean things was to shut me off firmly..

    I have met him after the breakup. I tried to find out more about the truth. I can see that he still loves me and he even hugged me so tightly and cried silently on the pillow.. I can see him hurting. I told him like 99% of how im feeling now. I know he knows. But somehow he just kept pushing me away and told me nothing can change his mind and he said he is sorry. He asked me to respect his decision too.

    Now, we are just friends. But we still talk , We both are still like giving each other the sweet vibes, it is like super friendly.. and many smiley emojis. :)! I wanted to ask him tonight to talk about something about the relationship and asked if he was comfortable. But he said he wasnt and was like “ how about tmr?” And he gave me a 😢 emoji..

    I can see he is hurting. I can see that we still both love each other. I know I want to get back and be there for him, and he is also going army on 2nd october, for two years.

    I am not sure if I should go into no contact , I am scared that he will feel more hurt and just force himself to forget me. (he stubborn..!! lol .)

    But at the same time Im not sure if i should be there for him as a friend, and he can see that i respected his decision..

    I know he thinks that he will give me false hope also.

    Please help out. I just need an advice....

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      It's impossible for a couple who break up/go on a timeout but still try to be there for one another, because it'll only backfire. It's still possible to become friends once again but some space needs to be given regardless to both parties. Right now, it seems like he still has feelings for you but needs his own space for whatever reason, and by trying to be there for him, you're only going to end up making him feel more suffocated. There's a good chance that he ends up contacting you right before he enlists or even during the initial weeks because of the huge change in his life and ends up trying to seek comfort in something familiar (you). I suggest allowing the two of you some room to breathe in the meantime.

  • Jo

    So.. my ex split with me and was very rash. Mild argument that exploded.. I'm the sort of person that likes to sort things out instantly. He's the sort that needs time to cool off.. problem is I struggled to understand that he needed space and thought he was ignoring me as some form of punishment. As I hate being ignored!! So because I wouldn't let things drop as I wanted to sort things out.. he would.get angry.. we would have a big blow out.. But shortly after all is well again.. back in each others arms. Loving each other.. untill the next petty bicker.. I can see exactly what I've been doing.. But he left saying everything else was perfect But he can't handle the arguments. I've promised to change..
    He messaged saying he loves me. And loved me like no other. He thinks I'm beautiful. He's attracted to me. I'm kind caring . And he cried himself to sleep on many occasions because he doesn't understand why we don't work.. BUT he can't handle the arguments and they were making him unhappy.
    What can I do. And why wont he try again..

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      You'll probably have to give him more time, and work towards understanding his approach to conflict as well as working on your own. Communication is always the key to a successful relationship, and right now, that's one aspect that needs to be improved before a second shot should be taken.

  • Markus

    Hi, my ex broke up with me and we continued to text for a month. She sent quite a few negative texts one day so I suggested some space. This led her to respond with, "You'll never hear from me again and I'm blocking you". I guess I panicked and over the course of the next month I sent a few letters explaining my suggestion of space was not designed to be permanent. She said previously I did not seem to care about her, so i tried to show I did. Writing was the only option to get in touch. I never heard anything. I sent a final short note saying I would now respect her decision and she knows where I am should she change her mind. I sent this a few weeks ago. Other than NC, I'm guessing it doesn't look good?

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      It seems that she harbors negative emotions and anger towards you for whatever happened during the breakup, but still had feelings for you up to the time you first suggested space and she got mad. Right now, even if she does have feelings towards you, because of whatever happened, any kind of attempt you make will end up pushing her further away. It would be best to give her time to let go of those negative emotions (with NC), before trying one last time to reconnect with her.

  • Danny

    Hi, I will be as honest as I can, my partner and I were together for 12 years we had issues but nothing major or so I thought two years ago I was struggling with the life we had due to me working nights I was being moody and bad company in general, we were planning marriage and she said she thought we shouldn’t get married and that she had her own issues that I didn’t know about, she is unable within a relationship to be able to say what’s on her mind and talk about it and some of the things she said about it were quite saddening it to the point where she would just go with what I wanted I felt really bad that this was happening. She said she needed some space to sort her head out so I left for 6 weeks I asked to come home and she agreed, but I could sense something wasn’t right still and slowly got worse over the next couple of years I tried to find out what was wrong but no answers I got very clingy phone calls texts etc wanting to spend all my time with her towards the end I even got treated for anxiety a year ago, when the had a argument and I asked her why she showed nothing towards me no initiation with anything within our relationship, and she got angry basically saying why should she as she had convinced herself over time that I had cheated on her because I was friended on Facebook by someone I had met on a stag party in Vegas and we exchanged innocent messages I didn’t cheat I never would but recognised that I was naive and sorry that I had made her feel as if I had she believed me and I thought we were good then she ended our things a week later saying she didn’t feel the way she should I then asked her if she loved me and she angrily said no, I took all this ok and for the first couple of months just experienced the norm asking for us to put things right telling her what she means to me and how I treat her etc and even through an angry rant from me she has excepted this and not had a bad word to say about me and she’s sorry and understands my emotions, I found Christmas hard and broke down on the phone to her she then brought up the not talking again she says she just wants to be on her own because of it making her unhappy and doesn’t think she ever could be! It took a couple of weeks of me still telling her I love her but realised that I need to let her go, and that was my worst down point I told her I couldn’t see or contact her for a while because it’s to hard I really don’t know what to do

    • Ryan - Ex Back Permanently Team

      Focus on picking yourself up first, and get to a more emotionally stable place before deciding on your next course of action. If by then you still want to be with her, then you have convince her that she'll be happy with you, but regardless, you should continue to give her some space and time, to explore life without you, and to realize that you've been an important part of her life all along.

      Sometimes, we start to take things for granted especially since you guys have been together a long time. Distance would show us what we're missing, and this might work in a similar fashion.

  • RW

    This was a really good article. It takes away so much of the I'm feeling that I've focused on my ex and put the responsibility for my actions back on me. I have always been co-dependent in relationships because of my emotional nature and having a large amount of debt from years of school. Thank you for remembering to look at my own needs and behaviors, and stop focusing on his. I've done a great job with NC and I'm starting to see my own part in the break-up.

  • Kevin

    Does no contact even have an effect if your ex called it off and started dating someone else? We have a deep history.

  • Sylvia

    My boyfriend and I broke up for like the six time on our five years relationship, every time we broke we don't stay in contact or see each other. 54 years old nah he's 56. I love him and love to be back on his life but I don't know what's his problem. Every time we get disappointed at each other he break the relationship with me and he vanished, disappeared from my life. I don't hear anything from him or any other person. Now is been almost two moths since las break up and I've contacted him about a moths and he told me to respect his space that he's trying to heal.

  • Katelyn

    Hi, my ex broke up with me in March, because he told me he no longer felt the same about me anymore and that he wanted to remain friends still. I was mad and made a mistake in begging him to come back to me, and he said "What makes you think I'll come back to you? Lol" he just sounded like a complete jerk. So after that I just ignored him and he kept trying to talk to me still and told me "I hate being ignored." I replied to him a couple of times and then stopped and since then I never saw him message me on FB until Monday night he messaged me "Hey," and still I didn't reply to him.
    He always likes my pictures of me always. And he told me that he'd never come back to me. I still have feelings for him a little bit and I feel like I'm never gonna get him back. And probably never will, I just keep living my life. While he really wants to talk to me so bad.

  • Josephine

    Hi Kevin. My ex broke up with me two weeks ago because he doesn't know how he feels, and I love him. For the whole relationship - I see this now - he was the one in power because I gave myself up to him, in the sense that I made our relationship our priority and he was in no way willing to commit, so kept doing everything his way. Anyway, I stopped contact with him completely and removed him from Facebook etc. but yesterday I sent him an email saying I wasn't angry and that I understood why it happened, best of luck etc. to which he replied very maturely, basically saying it was noones fault, good luck too. But then I panicked, and sent him one back to ask if he was sure! God, I feel so stupid. He was very nice again and said yes. So now I know that it's really over, but why did I feel the need for this double confirmation? Why didn't I leave it at the simple closure! I feel like I constantly place myself below others in relationships, and your article really struck home. I'm so embarrassed at what I've done, what can I do to learn self-respect? I want to stop reacting in such a silly way in the face of rejection :(

    • Kevin

      Hey Josephine,

      It's OK that you emailed him again. It's hard to not be desperate after a breakup. Don't judge yourself based on this incident. The topic of self-respect and not co-dependent is a big one and it'll be hard to cover in a comment. You can probably find a lot of resources by searching Google. One of the books I recommend is

  • Danny S


    I was just recently, within the past week, dumped by my girlfriend of 2 and a half years. We started out as fast friends. We we're pretty serious within a month of figuring out we we're interested in one another. We had a really strong relationship, we communicated well. We'd have fights but we never tried to leave each other upset. But she's currently a senior in college and as her undergrad is winding down, I decided to try and give her "room" to enjoy herself. To her, it came off as I didn't care anymore. When she tried to talk to me about it, I lost my cool and told her "No! There's nothing to talk about!" I guess I was offended that she didn't think I loved her. She dumped me right then. She said she needed space and time, that she thought we could maybe get back together but I couldn't just take away her hurt overnight. She said that she may only need a week.

    Since then I've pulled all the run of the mill mistakes. Begging for forgiveness, sent her presents. She still hasn't stonewalled me yet, so I haven't upset her to that point at least. I sent her a handwritten letter with our couple ring in it saying that I will gladly take the ring and her back when she's ready. Of course, she opened the letter, saw the ring fall out, and was furious. Our breakup has been for 5 days and I've had text conversations with her everyday since, day 3, she initiated the conversation after me being busy that whole day. Other than that, I've been initiating contact with her everyday. I just have as recent as this morning. In the past few days I have tried to keep my contact with her short and positive.

    I want her back. I feel like a huge piece of me is gone. I have spent this time to work on finding things that make me happy that have nothing to do with her. When I was harassing her with how I wasn't going to do anything wrong ever again, she never shut the door. So I'm optimistic that she may want to come back as well. But my question is, after we JUST had a conversation about how we wanted to keep communicating, how does NC not come off smug? Especially when the coffin nail in our relationship was her feeling neglected?

    • Kevin

      Hey Danny,

      If she didn't officially break up with you till now and said that she only needs space and time, then don't start no contact. If she has officially broken up with you, then you should tell her you need space and time and start no contact.

  • Ruby

    My boyfriend and at college together and I can't help but see him everyday? How can I apply the no contact rule to this, and I never know how to react when I pass him in the corridors?

    • Kevin

      Don't react. If he greets you, greet him back. But don't have any personal conversations with him. If he tries to talk to you, talk to him like an acquaintance.

  • simone

    I am 38 weeks pregnant and my ex broke it off in November and been.misleading me.I did everything I wasnt suppose to being needy desperate etc. I asked him if we will get back together he says he doesnt know but still shows he cares. man am I confused. HE also has a New Gf. Do you think I still.have a chance

    • Kevin

      Hey Simone,

      You might have a chance, but don't count on it. Be prepared for the worst. If he doesn't come back, you have to be prepared to raise the baby on your own. If possible, apply no contact rule and start planning your life without him.

  • Emily

    If you've already came off as needy and desperate and begged your ex back and he said he wants to be left alone, do you still have a chance in getting him back once he cools down?

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